Upcoming Changes to the Railway Byelaws

23 comments

This week is the last in which comments are being accepted on the newly proposed TfL Railway Byelaws.

The Byelaws are being introduced to ensure that one standard set covers all TfL-branded rail services. Currently, there are three different sets of Byelaws in force across the network – the London Regional Transport Byelaws, the Docklands Light Railway Byelaws and (on Overground services) the National Railway Byelaws. All three follow a similar pattern (as they’re all based off the DfT’s byelaws framework), but there are minor differences, and thus a move towards a single set of TfL Byelaws is probably for the better.

The proposed new Byelaws can be found in full here (as can the Road Transport Premises Byelaws which are also being amended slightly) and most of the changes are to clarify wording and consolidate clauses. There are, however, a couple of areas worth drawing attention to.

The Byelaw relating to potentially dangerous items has been amended slightly but not particularly noticably. Dangerous items are still defined as (rather broadly):

i) a loaded weapon of any kind;
ii) any inflammable, explosive or corrosive substance;
(iii) any item which is or may become dangerous.

The Byle relating to banned substances (alcohol and drugs) has been heavily reworded – not least to bring it in line with the new Mayoral Alcohol ban. In full it now reads:

(1) No person shall enter, attempt to enter or remain on the railway if he is unfit as a result of being drunk or under the influence of controlled drugs.

(2) No person shall enter, attempt to enter or remain on the railway while in possession of an open container of alcohol, unless expressly permitted to do so by the Operator in a particular area.

(3) No person shall consume alcohol on the railway, unless expressly permitted to do so by the Operator in a particular area.

(4) Without prejudice to Byelaws 4(2) and 4(3), where reasonable notice is, or has been, given prohibiting alcohol on any train on or of the railway, no person shall have any alcohol with him on such a train, or attempt to enter such a train, with alcohol with him.

(5) Where an authorised person reasonably believes that any person is unfit to enter or remain on the railway or is in possession of alcohol in contravention of any provision of Byelaw 4, the authorised person may:

(i) require him to leave the railway;
(ii) prevent him entering or remaining on the railway until the authorised person is satisfied that he is no longer in an unfit condition or no longer has any alcohol with him in contravention of Byelaw 4; and
(iii) remove any alcohol or controlled drugs.

Byelaw 6 has been amended to remove the total ban on “dumping rubbish” that rather amusingly implied that using a litter bin at a station was a breach of the Byelaws. The addition of the phrase “except in receptacles specifically provided by the Operator for those purposes” means those wishing to help keep our stations tidy can now sleep easy at night.

Several amendments have also been made to the Byelaws that relate to behaviour and conduct. Byelaw 9 now explicitly states that people standing on escalators must stand on the right, and Byelaw 10 now explicitly covers situations where individuals attempt to hold open doors:

In the case of automatic closing train doors, no person shall enter or leave by the door, force open the door or obstruct the door in any way when it is closing.

Elsewhere, Byelaw 11 has been reworded to clarify when it is acceptable for a person to use railway equipment (essentially when signage indicates they can do so) and Byelaw 16 has been amended to bring it in line with the latest guidance from the Guide Dog Association. Basically this means that Police dogs and Guide dogs are now allowed to walk on escalators (all other animals must still be carried, however).

Finally (and perhaps most importantly) Byelaw 17 has been amended from:

17. Compulsory ticket areas
1. No person shall enter a compulsory ticket area unless he has with him a valid ticket.

2. A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection when asked to do so by an authorised person.

To the more expansive:

Compulsory ticket areas
(1) No person shall enter a compulsory ticket area on the railway unless he has with him a valid ticket.

(2) A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity when asked to do so by an authorised person.

(3) No person shall be in breach of Byelaw 17(1) or 17(2) if:

(i) there were no facilities in working order for the issue or validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where, he began his journey;
(ii) there was a notice at the station where he began his journey permitting journeys to be started without a valid ticket; or
(iii) the Operator or an authorised person gave him permission to travel without a valid ticket.

As indicated, the consultation on these new Byelaws is due to end this week, with the Byelaws to be passed to the Secretary of State for approval shortly afterwards. Contact details for anyone wishing to make an official comment on them are as follows:

By post:

Department for Transport, Zone 3/02,
Great Minster House,
76 Marsham Street,
London SW1P 4DR

By email:

[email protected]

Once again, the new Byelaws can be found in full here.

Thanks to MA for the spot.

Written by John Bull