ScotRail is asking passengers if they want to end the blanket ban on drinking alcohol on the company's trains which was introduced three years ago during the pandemic.

It follows claims that the ban, which is routinely flouted, has become “unworkable”.

ScotRail is run by a Scottish Government-owned company after being taken into public ownership in 2022, and a final decision on ending the ban would rest with ministers.

BBC Scotland reported that customers logging onto ScotRail Wi-Fi internet services are being asked to take part in an online survey on the issue.

It states: "In November 2020 ScotRail introduced a 24/7 ban to help support public health measures put in place by the Scottish government to help tackle coronavirus.

"This was presented and reported as a temporary measure.

"We are now looking to re-evaluate this prohibition and we are seeking our passengers' views and opinions on this matter."

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Customers asked for a Yes or No answer to the question: "Would you be supportive of ScotRail removing the permanent alcohol ban on trains and in stations?"

A second question asks: "If the current total alcohol ban remained in place, would this impact on your decision to travel with ScotRail for leisure journeys in the future?"

Respondents are also asked if they would be less or more inclined to get on a ScotRail train in that situation, or whether it would not affect them either way.

The current ban prohibits the consumption of alcohol at any Scottish station or ScotRail train at any time of the day.

Passengers are also banned from carrying visible alcohol and can be stopped from getting on a train if deemed "unfit".

Drinking alcohol was previously banned on ScotRail services between 9pm and 10am.

The Scottish Tories last month urged Humza Yousaf to lift the ban, claiming ScotRail and the British Transport Police both considered it “unworkable”.

The First Minister said that ScotRail, the British Transport Police, union leaders and others had been asked for their views and "appropriate consideration" would be given to lifting the ban if the evidence supported it.

But he added: "We will give particular weight to the voices of women and girls, who are often those who tell us that they can feel unsafe when it comes to antisocial behaviour."

Tory MSP Graham Simpson said: “This was intended to be a temporary measure during the pandemic, and both ScotRail and British Transport Police think it is unworkable as a permanent position.

“The ban is not helping to tackle anti-social behaviour on trains, which is a genuine concern and ought to be the real focus.

“The SNP government, which has the final say on this, should stop penalising ordinary travellers and concentrate on dealing properly with the minority who are disruptive.

“So I welcome this long overdue consultation, which looks like ScotRail’s attempt to make SNP ministers finally see sense.

“The sale and consumption of drink on trains and at stations elsewhere in the UK is normal and mainly trouble-free. Scotland should not be imposing prohibition just to be different.”