Monday 9 Aug 2004

“CHILDREN MUST STOP RISKING THEIR LIVES PLAYING ON THE RAILWAY”, WARNS NETWORK RAIL

Region & Route:
Wales
Western
Wales and Western
The school summer holidays are underway and once again crime on the railway has increased – most of it committed by children and young people.  Alex Pilling, Network Rail’s External Liaison Officer for North Wales, said: “With long days and light evenings, it’s easy to understand why children want to play outside – but it’s hard to understand why some risk their lives playing on dangerous railway tracks.  “As well as the risk of being hit by a train, there is the risk of electrocution from live rails or overhead lines.  Previous tragedies have shown that children and young people do not survive these massive electric shocks.   “We implore parents and guardians to make sure their children understand the dangers of playing on the tracks. We don’t want any child to die as a result of playing on the railway this summer.” Everyday the British Transport Police record hundreds of crimes on Britain’s railways, which cost more than £250m a year in criminal damage and delays to passengers.             -more- Summer - 2 Network Rail takes its responsibility as railway infrastructure owner very seriously and sponsors many events to highlight railway safety.  In North Wales this year, Network Rail has been involved in several presentations at junior and high schools around the Rhyl and Prestatyn areas, and meetings with the North Wales Rail Passenger Committee to discuss the way forward in combating railway crime. Local magistrates groups will also be contacted with a view to attending a ‘consequences of railway crime’ workshop.  In addition to this, Network Rail is sponsoring a feasibility study into the Making Tracks horticultural project, where youths will be given the opportunity to take pride in and care for their local stations. Over the Summer, the dangers of railway crime will be highlighted by: ·        Football in the Community programmes with pupils from both Christchurch school and Emmanuel school in Rhyl, with coaches from Wrexham FC enforcing the railway safety message. ·        There are also plans for an interactive railway safety scene at the planned new ‘DangerPoint’ centre in Talacre, which will be available for use by pupils from all over the North Wales area.

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