A SLAITHWAITE woman has unveiled a “catalogue of misery” in the row over drinkers on the Ale Trail.
Julie Devall, who lives close to Slaithwaite railway station, says residents are being plagued by yobs on binge-drinking journeys.
She has logged incidents of people urinating in the street, causing damage and dumping litter and has passed it on to police.
And she fears this Bank Holiday weekend will see a repeat of the problems, which were discussed this week at a summit meeting in Marsden.
British Transport Police have pledged to try and devote more resources to the eight stations along the transPennine rail line from Stalybridge to Batley.
But they admit they have other priorities at weekends, with the new football season up and running.
The Ale Trail was originally set up by real ale drinkers to promote pubs along the line.
But it was featured on TV by James May and Oz Clarke and has now become very popular among large groups on stag and hen parties.
Ms Devall said: “I know it brings a lot of trade into places like Slaithwaite and Marsden, but at what cost?
“Those of us who live near to the station are plagued on summer weekends by hordes of binge-drinkers, who smash glasses, leave litter, hurl abuse at us and urinate wherever they want.
“I have kept a log of the numbers using Slaithwaite station in the summer. It is very quiet from Monday to Friday, but on one Saturday I counted more than 2,000 people getting on or off the trains heading in both directions.
“These are not local people using the rail service; they are large groups of mainly men who head off down to the village to consume alcohol.
“They even send one or two of their number to the pubs and they come back up Station Road with large numbers of glasses and bottles, which then get left on the platforms.
“There is litter everywhere after the weekend and what is even more disgusting is the number of people who relieve themselves on the platforms, by the bus shelter and on the street”.
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney, who is working with police and businesses on the problems, said: “The sheer scale of numbers is what needs to be managed.
“The police do patrol and do take action when people break the law, but we cannot stop people moving around of their own free will”.
Chief Insp Derek O’Mara from British Transport Police said: “The Real Ale Trail does attract large numbers of rail passengers, the vast majority of which behave in a decent and respectful manner.
“However there are a few whose behaviour, whether fuelled by alcohol or not, is unacceptable. Beer glasses are being carried onto trains, people are urinating on platforms and the doors on trains are being held open disrupting services. This is unacceptable.
“BTP officers patrol the line regularly, and will continue to do so over the bank holiday weekend.
“It’s vital that people report any offences to us so we can build an intelligence picture of what is taking place on the trail, and if necessary, allocate policing resources.”