National Express Coventry launches clampdown on smokers
Coventry Environmental Health Officers and National Express Coventry have joined forces to clampdown on people who still smoke on buses.
It has been illegal to smoke in any enclosed public places since 1 July 2007 and compliance with the law has generally been good. However, travel companies have recorded a number of incidents of people smoking on buses which exposes fellow passengers to the hazards of passive/second hand smoke.
A poster campaign, to remind people of the penalties and their responsibilities, will be launched in an effort to eradicate smoking on public transport. A text line is advertised on the posters so that any passenger can report smoking on buses directly to National Express Coventry.
From 5 January 2009 plain clothed Safer Travel Inspectors will travel on buses to identify smokers who will be challenged and fined. At present the fixed penalty fine is £30 if paid within 15 days, £50 if paid within 29 days or up to £200 if found guilty in court.
Cllr Hazel Noonan, cabinet member for City Services, said: "This joint initiative is aimed at improving the conditions for all passengers on buses in Coventry. In any social community or gathering it is usually the minority that spoils things for the majority, and this situation proves it. We must do all we can to stop this trend and make public transport a healthier place to travel."
Bernard Delany, Director of National Express Coventry, commented: "Smoking on buses is not only illegal, but unpleasant for other passengers. We take this kind of anti-social behaviour very seriously and are delighted to be working in partnership with Coventry Council and Smoke Free UK to stamp out smoking on the buses."