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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 10:09 GMT
'Excuse text' for boring parties
Westminster City Council Christmas safety campaign
The council wants to encourage safe festive drinking
Bailing out of a dull Christmas office party has been made easier with the launch of a new texting service.

The "excuse text" is part of a free service launched by Westminster City Council, which includes a list of travel numbers and mobile phone alerts.

The four-week, 70,000 council-funded campaign, aims at ensuring revellers get home safely after a night out.

"And if making small talk with the boss is just too much, the excuse text will help you get away", the council said.

The service is part of the council's "Some things you only do when you're drunk" initiative.

Beer mats

Users need to register online for the text messaging service, which will provide them with a list of bus and taxi phone numbers.

The campaign follows a council survey that showed nearly 50% of those quizzed got into trouble after a night out at some point or another.

This includes "getting lost on their way home, missing work the next day, losing property, doing something they regretted or being the victim of violent behaviour".

Some 50,000 beer mats with store-in-your-wallet travel numbers will be distributed to West End bars.

Advertising for the campaign will include posters on the London Underground and in pub toilets.

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