Beds, Herts & Bucks

First Capital Connect issues passenger etiquette guide

First Capital Connect advert
Image caption First Capital Connect said research had advocated using humour in its adverts

A rail firm has issued a cartoon guide to "train etiquette", asking passengers not to assume fellow travellers share their food and music tastes.

First Capital Connect (FCC) said its campaign encourages people to be more careful on the railway and more considerate of one other.

Its adverts include slogans such as "don't assume they share your taste for kebabs and dubstep".

Advertising experts claim humour is a good way to "cut through" to people.

The company's Modern Day Guide to Train Etiquette includes adverts, which will appear on trains and in stations on FCC's routes which include the Thameslink between Bedford and Brighton and from London to Peterborough, Cambridge and King's Lynn.

The artwork has also been turned into a booklet featuring character Ed Ticket and targets anti-social behaviour such as leaving newspapers behind on seats, listening to loud music and eating smelly food.

Safety messages are also featured which include instructions not to run on stairs and to arrive in good time to catch the train.

One poster says: "Do your sprinting somewhere else" and depicts a cartoon character limbering up on a running track, stopwatch in hand.

'Safety and comfort'

Image caption The adverts also depict message about safety when travelling by train

Keith Jipps from FCC said it wanted to encourage safer and more considerate behaviour because it "cared about our passengers' safety and comfort".

"We know from research that we need to use humour to grab people's attention," he said.

A spokesman from the Voice of British Advertisers (IBSA), said using humour in advertising was a good way to "cut through" other messages.

IBSA director Ian Twinn said: "Just as government ads use hard-hitting messages and striking images to reduce drink-driving or smoking, humour can also be used to achieve the same sort of 'cut through'.

"[This is] not easy even with a captive audience, thanks to the many other distractions that the average commuter encounters."

Mike Hewitson, Passenger Focus head of issues, said: "Passengers tell us that they're concerned by anti-social behaviour on the railway.

"So we welcome this effort to remind the minority of passengers who behave poorly of what is and isn't acceptable when travelling by train."

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