Women’s soccer scores a win in huge climb down over fans travel rules

Women’s soccer in Scotland can claim a win after their views, alongside the other football authorities, have been heard and decisively acted upon. 
Football bus in Glasgow
Football bus in Glasgow / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

The Scottish Women’s Professional League (SWPL) responded to a proposal document from The Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, Richard Turfitt. This outlined new requirements for fans travelling to sporting events by public hire vehicles in Scotland. The proposal was aimed at introducing helpful mitigation against football related violence and disorder. 

The proposals included restrictions on where and at what time supporter buses can arrive or depart matches and where they can park. Pub stops for a beer were to be outlawed, unless a substantial meal is taken at the time.

The SWPL joined forces with the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and the men’s Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) in issuing a statement condemning the proposed new rules. They were concerned at the way fans were being demonised and targeted, making it clear the plans did not carry the support of the football authorities in Scotland. 

Turfitt did indicate in his proposals that the regulations are already successfully in place in England and Wales. He’s clearly not factored in the way Scotland thinks and works. There has been a huge and very critical response from fans and clubs in Scotland including that joint statement involving the SWPL. 

Now comes the news of an embarrassing climbdown from Turfitt in a statement on Friday. He points out he is independent of the UK Government and recognises any proposals would need full consultation with the devolved Scottish Government. 

Turfitt also notes that he has listened to the strong views expressed so far. As a result he has now decided to cease any consultation process. Which should mean the proposals go no further.

It’s good to see such a quick response in the face of the enormous thumbs down from all angles in Scotland. 

Next. Fans travel in Scotland 1. Women’s soccer stands alongside the men against transport proposals in Scotland. dark