The famous Manchester Christmas Markets open this weekend and the train operator – together with British Transport Police (BTP) – is asking everyone to show respect for fellow travellers and rail staff.
The markets bring tens of thousands of extra people to the city centre in the run-up to Christmas, with many choosing to travel by train. Stations and carriages may, therefore, be much busier than usual.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The Christmas Markets are fantastic for Manchester and there is a genuine buzz around the city as it’s transformed into a winter wonderland.
“Many visitors choose to the leave their cars at home and travel by train to enjoy all the markets have to offer. It’s a great way to travel to and from the city, but the additional customers mean our trains and stations are likely to be busier than normal – particularly in the evenings and at weekends.
“Sadly, with alcohol often playing a large part in people’s enjoyment of the markets – coupled with the start of the Christmas party season – the festivities can be spoiled by anti-social behaviour which impacts on other customers and rail staff.
“We want to make sure all our customers have a great festive season and so I’m asking everyone to act with patience and respect. Our trains will be busy, but we’ll have extra staff on duty and all at Northern will be working round-the-clock to help people in the city and to make sure they get where they need to be.”
BTP Inspector Adam Swallow said: “There is a clear link between excessive alcohol consumption and anti-social and aggressive behaviour, so we are calling on rail users to think of others this Christmas.
“We won’t accept any anti-social or abusive behaviour and anyone who is thought to be too drunk to travel will be turned away from trains and stations.
“We appreciate it’s the party season but please don’t overdo it. Alcohol can affect your judgement and after a few drinks people often take greater risks, which can often lead to them – or others – getting hurt.”
Chris added: “Christmas is meant to be a fun time and we certainly don’t want to get in the way of that fun or dampen the party spirit. We are simply asking our customers to think about how much they drink and to be considerate to fellow passengers and staff.”