The SNP's Westminster leader has described controversial new proposals for Scottish football fans travelling to matches as "unworkable, unmanageable, unenforceable".

An open consultation has been published by the UK government on bringing the situation north of the border in line with the "voluntary guidelines" in place in England and Wales.

Richard Turfitt, Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain said in the consultation: "These guidelines have historically applied to Scottish operators when conveying passengers to all football matches in England and Wales but have not previously been applied to matches held within Scotland."

The new rules would apply to all 'designated' sporting events - which applies only to football and not other sports such as rugby, or to similar large scale events such as concerts.

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Under the proposed rules

  • Anyone running a bus would have to have to inform a 'dedicated football officer' or DFO 48 hours before the match of the number of supporters expected to travel, the number of vehicles booked, the name and the contact number for the person who made the booking
  • Buses would not be allowed to stop within 10 miles of the stadium before or after the match without permission
  • Buses would be banned from stopping at pubs unless alcohol is "sold ancillary to a substantial meal", and permission would have to be sought from the DFO
  • Buses would have to arrive at the stadium "no earlier than two hours before and not later than one hour before the scheduled start of the game".
  • Permission would have to be sought from police to pick up passengers at stops on the route
  • Buses would be required to leave the stadium within 30 minute of the end of the match
  • Those running the bus would be required to inform the DFO of "any chanting demonstrating hostility based on race, ethnicity religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender identity or chanting of an otherwise grossly offensive or inflammatory nature" which happened on the journey.
  • Voluntary searches could be in place for things like alcohol and pyrotechnics.

The proposals have been unpopular with Scottish football fans, and have now been harshly criticised by the SNP's Westminster leader.

Mr Flynn wrote on Twitter: "Unworkable, unmanageable, unenforceable. Get it in the bin.

"The clubs these fans support can be a huge force for good & more folk attend matches in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe. Celebrate them, don’t punish them."