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Train passengers smoking costs rail company Greater Anglia £20,000

‘This anti-social behaviour leads to delays which affect everyone else travelling on our trains,’ says train service delivery director

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 19 August 2020 12:23 BST
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Greater Anglia has struggled with passengers attempting to smoke or vape on services
Greater Anglia has struggled with passengers attempting to smoke or vape on services (Getty)

A train company has revealed that passengers smoking on its services has cost the operator £20,000 in just eight months.

Greater Anglia has seen eight incidents of passengers lighting or vaping up in train toilets across its network since January 2020.

Smoking and vaping are banned onboard all the operator’s trains, and rule breakers have caused more than 100 minutes of delays, as well as five cancellations.

The incidents have cost Greater Anglia an estimated £20,000, as well as inconveniencing hundreds of customers.

“It’s very disappointing that some passengers are smoking in our train toilets,” Jay Thompson, train service delivery director, said in a statement.

“This anti-social behaviour leads to delays which affect everyone else travelling on our trains, who may be travelling to work, school, for hospital appointments or to meet family and friends.

“I’d appeal to any passenger who suspects someone is smoking or vaping on their train to report it to the British Transport Police by texting 61016.”

Smoking and vaping are also banned at all Greater Anglia stations, with fines of up to £200 for those caught doing so.

A Greater Anglia spokesperson told the East Anglian Daily Times that, while it’s easier to detect smoking on the operator’s new trains, there has still been an issue with passengers ignoring the rules across its network.

Smoking has been illegal on all trains in the UK since 2005.

Rail passengers in many countries are also now required to wear a mask while onboard to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

A passenger on a train in France was recently forced to disembark after refusing to wear a face mask.

The unnamed man was travelling on the TGV Paris-Nice service on 16 August when he was asked to put on a face covering, which are currently mandatory on French public transport.

He repeatedly refused, until the decision was taken to make an unscheduled stop so the man could be kicked off.

The train doesn’t normally stop before reaching Marseille, but railway security opted to eject the traveller at Creusot in the Saône-et-Loire region of eastern France – around 470km away from the next scheduled stop.

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