Passenger says smoking is a drag at Havant bus station

Colin Brown outside of Havant Bus Station.''Picture: Sarah Standing (131192-2457)
Colin Brown outside of Havant Bus Station.''Picture: Sarah Standing (131192-2457)

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ONE of Hampshire’s busiest bus stations has been compared to a ‘giant ashtray’.

Colin Brown said he dreads using Havant bus station because of the cigarette butts that litter the floor and the number of people – including bus drivers – smoking outside the terminal.

The 59-year-old, of Warren Park, said at times he gets home smelling as if he has smoked a packet himself.

He said: ‘I have a car but I like to use the buses every now and then to give myself some exercise. But I dread going to Havant station because it’s like a giant ashtray.

‘There must have been about 1,000 cigarette butts and roll-ups on the floor recently.

‘While you wait for the bus, you see the drivers standing around smoking, and members of the public.

‘It was so bad the other day I’m now going to have to have my leather jacket professionally cleaned.

‘I don’t believe people should be able to smoke in this area. It should be banned.

‘Why isn’t the bus station cleaned up?

‘I feel sorry for visitors – it’s a total mess.’

Jackie Jeffery was visiting Havant from Worthing.

She said: ‘It’s absolutely disgusting. If I had my way there would be a complete smoking ban in public.

‘It’s the first thing you see when you come to Havant, like we did, on the bus. It’s horrible here.’

Sarah Winder, a spokeswoman for Stagecoach, said drivers have a designated smoking area at the side of the building and they are asked to always use the ashtray provided.

Havant Borough Council said the area is cleaned by the environmental team at least twice a day, often more.

It said that because the outside of the waiting room is a public area they have no powers to enforce a smoking ban.

Spokeswoman Sally Foster said: ‘It’s an offence to drop a cigarette and if someone is caught they are liable for a fixed penalty fine of £75.

‘That drops to £50 if it is paid within a certain time period.

‘There is a smoking ban inside the waiting area but the outside is a public highway and there is nothing we can do about that.

‘We do have a campaign coming up in the near future which will go on the side of vehicles and in the council magazine, Serving You, about stubbing out cigarettes in the correct places.’

‘Why not send a couple of environmental health officers round every couple of hours for a month to dish out those fixed penalty fines for those caught flicking a butt to the ground?’ - click here to read The News Comment on this story