Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is asking if new powers should be introduced on buses to tackle low level, anti-social behaviour. Bus is a lifeline for many people in the West Midlands, connecting thousands of people to education, training and employment opportunities and accounting for over 800,000 journeys every day.
Since 2006, crime and anti-social behaviour on public transport in the West Midlands has dramatically reduced by 60% thanks to the work of Safer Travel, a partnership approach between transport operators, Transport for West Midlands, British Transport Police and West Midlands Police.
The partnership exists to ensure that the public transport network in the West Midlands is safe for everyone to use and one of their key priorities is making bus an attractive and pleasant option for travel.
Although crime on buses in the West Midlands has dramatically reduced since 2006, low level nuisance and anti-social behaviour is still preventing many people from making journeys by bus.
Safer Travel and police teams haven’t got all the necessary powers to tackle anti-social behaviour as, although it can make people feel unsafe or uncomfortable, it isn’t necessarily against the law. This includes things like; loitering at bus stations, vaping, playing loud music and using threatening or offensive language.
Introducing new bye-laws would give Safer Travel, and police teams greater powers for stopping these behaviours and if introduced, the bye-laws would apply to buses, bus stops and bus stations.
Similar bye-laws already exist on trams and trains in the West Midlands so introducing them on buses would be a natural progression and supports the zero tolerance stance to anti-social behaviour on public transport. If they are introduced, it would be the first time they are used in the UK.
How to get involved
The consultation will be open for comments between 4 February and 29 March 2019.
https://www.tfwm.org.uk/media/3291/bus-byelaws-final-leaflet-040219.pdf – consultation proposal
https://www.tfwm.org.uk/media/3289/bus-byelaws-full.pdf – bus bye-laws
http://snapsurveys.wmca.org.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=154471801084 – questionnaire
West Midlands Combined Authority is particularly interested in hearing people’s views on:
• Vaping on the bus and smoking/vaping at stops and around bus stations
• Ticketless travel/unauthorised buying and selling of tickets/altering tickets
• Travelling under the influence of alcohol and drugs where it has an effect on other passengers/unacceptable behaviour
• Music, sound and advertising – for example leafleting and selling of goods
• Unauthorised access/loitering at stations/premises
• General safety
You can request the documents in print or in a different format by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, 0345 303 6760 (option 5)