Posted by: travelrat | March 26, 2010

No Smoking Under the Bridge

Ever since the ban on smoking in all commercial premises came into force, I’ve taken issue with the wording of the signs. ‘IT IS AN OFFENCE TO SMOKE ON THESE PREMISES’. Does that sound petty, or not? Wouldn’t a simple ‘No Smoking’ suffice? Before the ban, did petrol stations feel a need to post notices saying something to the effect that ‘Anyone smoking here is likely to find himself travelling upwards rather rapidly, and coming down in little pieces’ ?

Of course they didn’t. A simple ‘No Smoking’ did the job, until the Health and Safety Police made them reinforce the signs with incomprehensible hazard markings.

But, this one takes the biscuit. I have no problem with the railways banning smoking on their premises, such as stations, waiting rooms and ticket offices; in fact, I welcome it. But, these ‘premises’ are a railway underpass! Who is going to annoy anyone, or set anything on fire if he walks under it with a cigarette going?

Maybe it’s the kind of place where a down-and-out might skull supermarket plonk straight from the bottle, but is there a notice about that? Of course not!

OK, rant over! My latest piece is live at


  1. Sometimes I actually feel sorry for smokers, there are so many restrictions put on them these days. I can’t see what harm smoking under the bridge would do.

    • Although I’m a non-smoker myself … I gave up cigarettes over 30 years ago, and cigars 12 years ago … I do feel the ‘ban’, as applied in Britain is a little harsh. I’d rather see a system like the one in Spain, where bars and restaurants have a sign on the door saying whether smoking is permitted or not, and it’s up to the individual to choose whether or not to go in.

      I did use to enjoy a cigar after a meal, and wouldn’t deny that right to anyone (provided they didn’t smoke those vile King Edwards :D)

      And yes, I do feel sorry for grown men and women having to huddle outside in the wind and rain, like naughty schoolkids smoking behind the bike sheds. We used to have smoking and non-smoking offices; since I was the sole occupant of my office, and I smoked, people often dropped by for a smoke and a chat … and I really apperciated the company most times.

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