Illegal smoking in train loos inconveniences Greater Anglia travellers

It is easier to detect illegal smoking on Greater Anglia's new trains. Picture: NICK STRUGNELL/GREAT

It is easier to detect illegal smoking on Greater Anglia's new trains. Picture: NICK STRUGNELL/GREATER ANGLIA - Credit: Archant

More than 15 years after smoking was banned on all trains in the UK, Greater Anglia is facing a new battle with lawless passengers who are determined to light up in the toilets of its new trains.

Managers have warned this can damage the trains and could lead to delays and cancellations in the middle of journeys – forcing passengers to leave and wait for another service.

In the last eight months, there have been eight incidents across the network where people have been caught smoking or vaping in train toilets.

These have led to a total of more than 100 minutes of delays and five cancellations, as staff deal with the incidents, costing Greater Anglia about £20,000 and causing great inconvenience to customers.

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Smoking or vaping is not allowed on Greater Anglia’s trains or stations. Anyone caught smoking or vaping could be prosecuted and fined up to £200.

Jay Thompson, Greater Anglia train service delivery director, said: “It’s very disappointing that some passengers are smoking in our train toilets. 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.

“It is against the law to smoke on our trains and stations. We will not hesitate to take action, such as ejecting them from our trains or stations, or reporting them to the British Transport Police if we catch anyone doing it.

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

A spokeswoman said that it was easier to detect illegal smoking in the new trains – but there had been issues with passengers ignoring the rules across the network and they were concerned about the delays this was causing. People were now more likely to be caught by on train staff who were looking out for problems.

Greater Anglia has “No smoking” signs displayed on trains and stations. There are also announcements on trains and stations reminding passengers that smoking and vaping is not permitted.

Trains and stations are covered by no smoking laws banning smoking and vaping in enclosed public spaces across the country.

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