Every so often, there is a story or development so sad or egregious that it briefly causes the world of Scottish football to band together.

Examples in the past have included the deaths of beloved figures of the game such as Bertie Auld, Walter Smith and Craig Brown, to players suffering despicable abuse such as Glen Kamara and Kyogo Furuhashi, both on and off the pitch. These instances seem to largely transcend rivalry, which then allows for global sporting institutions like Celtic, Rangers and others to come together and make a stand for the greater good of societal issues.

There was to be another example of this union – amongst both supporters and the clubs they represent - when proposals issued by the Traffic Commissioners of Great Britain were made public on August 30. Following a viral post on X, formerly known as Twitter, there was almost universal condemnation of these proposed guidelines, which will further marginalise football fans when travelling to support their team both home and away.

These new policies – which are available to read in full here – are focused and thorough in their aims to crack down on the consumption of alcohol on PSVs (public service vehicles – e.g. buses and coaches.) Some of the examples include not being able to stop within 10 miles of the relevant stadia – both on arrival or departure – without prior permission and the arrivals of said PSVs to the relevant grounds “no earlier than two hours before and not later than one hour before the scheduled start of the game”.

Following these developments put forward for consultation by Richard Turfitt, the Senior Traffic Commissioner, there would be a barrage of statements made by both affected clubs and the footballing authorities in general. On Thursday, September 7, Celtic made a statement, outlining their clear dismay.

READ MORE: What it's like to be coached by Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

It read: “Celtic FC are closely monitoring the proposed new rules for fans travelling to matches on public hire vehicles, which have been issued by the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain.

“Celtic has discussed these proposals with groups representing the interests of supporters travelling to matches, including the Celtic Supporters’ Association, the Affiliation of Registered Supporters' Clubs and our supporters' groups in Ireland. The Club shares our supporters' serious concerns that these proposed measures would do nothing more than demonise football fans, unnecessarily targeting one particular sport and its supporters.

“Supporters are the lifeblood of the game, with thousands each weekend contributing positively to the sport in Scotland, yet these proposals would negatively affect a large proportion of supporters travelling to matches. Celtic will engage robustly with the consultation process, outlining the Club’s deep concerns with the proposals consulted upon.”

This message came after a joint statement by the SPFL, Scottish FA and SWPL, which it largely echoed. It said: “We are concerned by the targeted nature of these proposals which serve to demonise football fans and interfere unnecessarily in people’s lives. We don’t support these unnecessary and heavy-handed proposals and we will be making our views clear in the consultation.”

Some strong views indeed, particularly from Celtic’s perspective. It is a commonly heard opinion that football fans are treated differently to spectators of other sports or interests, whether that be inside a ground or – as is the case here – outside one and travelling there.

So, how do those who will be most affected by this – the supporters spending their hard-earned cash on both tickets and travel to games – feel about these negative developments?

The Celtic Way spoke to Shaunpaul Byrne, the convenor and founder of the Bertie Auld Cumbernauld CSC, which has been taking Celtic supporters both home and away for the past seven years. Byrne cannot fathom the thought process that brought the suggestions to bear.

He said: “These guidelines seem like a joke, but they’re also very unrealistic. It's hard to believe how the government can even consider them, to be honest. Not just for the fans, but for the bus companies, the local shops and other involved parties like that.

“These rules would cripple the local businesses and companies more than they already are at the moment. It is beyond belief the government would think that these extra restrictions are needed. When you look at the official government document outlining these proposals, it does not mention any other sports other than football and football supporters.

“How they can victimise football fans is unbelievable, when you look at all of the different types of events that go on in the country. It is throughout all levels of the sport from top to bottom that people travel on football buses, so how they can look to victimise and essentially criminalise these supporters is ridiculous. Why they think they can punish the majority for the behaviour of a tiny minority is beyond belief.”

READ MORE: Why Brendan Rodgers smashed egg all over the doubters faces

Of course, the consultation of these new proposals is now well underway according to the UK government’s website. The deadline is November 24, meaning a decision will be made in the not-so-distant future regarding the implementation of these procedures.

The somewhat rhetorical question remains though: Will these new guidelines act as a deterrent for supporters consuming alcohol both before, during and after the game? Byrne doesn't think so.

He said: “I think things would still go on the same as they do at the moment. I know that there are already rules in place at the moment for the consumption of alcohol on buses, and I also know that there are ways of trying to dodge that, so I don’t see how that would change going forward.

"This is just going to cause more nuisance for every single person involved, which probably goes for the police as well. It is exactly the same as no alcohol being allowed in the grounds: people are going to find other ways of getting it in there. These guidelines will not counter the problem, they will create more issues.”

Through speaking to those who travel to games on the buses, it is clear from the way they recall their experiences that this mode of transport has has become a way of life that is linked and consolidated through their love of the football club. In essence, it is their go-to method of getting to and from the games both at Celtic Park and further afield.

Tom Flanagan, a regular passenger on The Paul McStay St. Ninians Number 1 bus (PMS CSC for short), sees his journey as more than just travel, which is why he is disgusted by these proposals tabled.

He said: “I think it is quite frankly a ridiculous attempt to try and demonise ordinary football supporters, turning football buses into quite robotic and cold experiences for supporters.

READ MORE: The Celtic numbers: How Kyogo and his teammates won at Ibrox

“As I understand it, these proposals are an attempt to bring Scotland in line with the UK when it comes to buses/coaches at the football. Having done away games in England following Sheffield Wednesday, I can tell you Celtic bus culture is something quite unique and special.

"I moved away from England in 2015, but my family still live there, so I see the men and women of the PMS bus as my new family. If these guidelines are made legislation, it would ultimately lead to the death of that. Football is about families and communities, not numbers who can only go to certain government-approved boozers.

“I don’t want to get overly political, but there are people who simply can’t get a house or cannot afford a family because they cannot get a wage increase in the current climate. If these guidelines pass through, then the small disposable income that people have put by to simply enjoy football games is effectively now being policed regarding spending, and those in charge now want to tell you exactly how you enjoy your day at the match. If that is the case, then why should men and women go to their work on a Monday at all? Not only would they be needlessly making things difficult for football supporters, but taking away that organic bus culture that we have at our club.”