UK Politics

Peer seeks ban on hot food on London Underground

A busy tube train

People should not be allowed to eat hot food on the London Underground because it can be "offensive" and a health hazard, a Conservative peer has urged.

Lord Sherbourne said smoking and alcohol had been banned on the network, and argued that hot food should be too.

He urged the government to raise the matter with Transport for London.

Transport minister Lord Ahmad said there were "no plans" for such a ban to be put in place, but promised to raise the matter with Transport for London.

Travel etiquette

Lord Sherbourne's request came during question time in the House of Lords.

He said "many passengers" found it "very offensive" when people ate hot food on the Tube, and warned it created litter which "when left lying around carriages can create a health hazard".

To some apparent murmurs of approval, he suggested that as smoking and the consumption of alcohol were forbidden on the network "should not London transport follow the lead of some American cities, such as Washington DC and consider banning the consumption of hot food on Tube trains?"

Addressing the minister, he asked: "Will he suggest that they consider this proposal and perhaps undertake a passenger survey to find out what passengers would like?"

Lord Ahmad, charged with replying to his question, said it was "an important area of concern to many commuters".

He told peers "there are no current plans at TfL to introduce such bans", but that there was already a policy in place to encourage good travel etiquette.

"That can lead to improvement in services," he added, before promising to raise the topic when he next meets Transport for London.