The head of a public safety partnership has welcomed dry trains for Hartlepool United’s clash with rivals York this weekend.
Christopher Akers-Belcher, chairman of the multi-agency Safer Hartlepool Partnership, backed the move by rail operator Grand Central.
Let’s make it a day to remember for all the right reasonsChristopher Akers-Belcher, Safer Hartlepool Partnership chair
The body is becoming increasingly concerned at the behaviour of some drunken passengers on trains travelling to and from Hartlepool, as previously reported in the Mail.
Passengers will be banned from buying, drinking or carrying alcohol on seven services between Sunderland, Hartlepool and York City on Saturday.
Councillor Akers-Belcher, who is also the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “This is an issue of great concern which was aired at a recent meeting of the Partnership, and I welcome this move.
“I would urge all rail passengers to treat their fellow travellers with respect at all times, but I would like to issue a particular appeal to football fans ahead of this Saturday’s big game.
“I hope they have a great day out and let’s make it a one to remember for all the right reasons – hopefully a resounding victory for Pools.”
Two extra Grand Central services are being laid on for travelling Pools fans.
British Transport Police officers and rail staff will be at stations and on trains and will ask people to hand over any booze they may be carrying.
Passengers who appear drunk will also be stopped from getting on trains.
Inspector Richard Price said: “Trains are not extensions of bars and clubs; they are used by everyone including families, young people and the elderly.
“Other passengers do not want to travel and be subjected to the drunk, intoxicated and often intimidating behaviour of others under the influence of alcohol.”
The dry trains in operation will be the 8.30am Sunderland to York, 8.35am Hartlepool to York, 11.32am Hartlepool to York and 12.18pm Sunderland to York.
Alcohol will also be banned on return journeys from York on the 18:13, 18:42 and 21:01 services.