MERSEYRAIL bosses are seeking Government powers to ban boozing on all trains and stations on the network.
Under existing railway byelaws, people found to be in possession of intoxicating liquor or in an unfit state of drunkenness can be removed from the railway.
But Merseyrail wants to tighten this up to make it illegal for passengers to drink out of an open can or bottle on stations and trains.
At present, the ban is only operated at certain stations and at certain times of the year – such as the Christmas period, during the Aintree Grand National meeting, Mathew Street festival and Orange Lodge parades. If the bye-law was introduced, the ban would be in force throughout the year and at all stations on the network.
A similar policy has been in force on the London Underground network since 2008.
Merseyrail spokeswoman Alice Owen said: “We have submitted our proposal to the Department for Transport and are waiting to get a date from them for a meeting to discuss this.
“We do not know when or if our request will be granted and understand that if it is, the process of enforcement is likely to take a considerable amount of time.”
In the meantime, Merseyrail has implemented its own Travel Safe policy, which encourages staff to refuse entry if a person is a danger to him or herself or others through drink, and to help them find another way of getting to their destination.
The policy was supported by a 12-month publicity campaign, such as internet banners, posters in trains and on stations and hand-outs.