Mounted police on real ale trail

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Drinkers on the Real Ale Trail were met by mounted police when they got off the train this weekend.

As they stepped off the train at Marsden on Saturday they were greeted by police on horseback.

It coincided with the start of alcohol sale restrictions along the Transpennine rail route of pubs along the line between West Yorkshire and Manchester with some landlords introducing bans on selling lager, doubles, shots and other binge-drinking tipples.

It is part of a crackdown on booze-fuelled behaviour on the trail which runs from Leeds to Manchester through Dewsbury, Mirfield and Huddersfield along the Colne Valley.

There are concerns that the Real Ale Trail has been hijacked by stag and hen parties with complaints including of drunken revellers being sick, jumping in canals, running on the train line and intimidating other passengers.

Chief Supt Tim Kingsman of Kirklees Police, said: “We are aware of concerns in communities on the Real Ale Trail regarding anti social behaviour on weekends and we are working closely with partners to address these matters.

“West Yorkshire Police are providing additional patrols including mounted officers at key times to reassure residents and deter offending.

“Policing alone will not fully resolve the issues and we are building on existing partnership work with colleagues from agencies such as British Transport Police, Kirklees Council and licensees to put in place various measures to allow Real Ale Trail users to enjoy the experience safely and responsibly while also ensuring communities on the trail are not blighted by frequent poor behaviour by those who might seek to abuse it.

“Residents in communities such as Marsden should quite rightly not have to put up with drunken or loutish behaviour and it will not be tolerated by Kirklees Police and our partners.”

Publicans and brewers along the route have formed the Real Ale Trail Licensees scheme and have recently introduced restrictions on Saturdays along the Batley to Stalybridge stations route.