Friday 25 May 2018
Crackdown on dangerous railway trespass in Christchurch
Young people in Christchurch are putting themselves at serious risk of being killed or seriously injured on the railway with repeated recent reports of groups jumping into the River Stour from a railway bridge.
The bridge is located on a busy part of the railway, with around 500 trains running over it every week, travelling at speeds of up to 80mph.
The railway line here is also electrified. The type of current on the track means anyone coming into contact would be left with life changing or fatal injuries.
Network Rail, British Transport Police (BTP) and South Western Railway are teaming up over the May half-term school holidays to help tackle this behaviour and protect people from serious harm.
David Smith, Head of Route Safety for Network Rail, said: “Safety is our number one priority, which is why we are taking this action with our colleagues from the BTP and South Western Railway to prevent these extremely concerning trespass incidents.”
Inspector Andy Jackson from British Transport Police, said: “Last year, we found on countless occasions young people putting their lives at risk when jumping from the railway into the River Stour. It is incredible that no one was killed or seriously injured.
“There can be no excuse for this type of behaviour and we’ll be working hard during the half term to prevent further offences. I’d ask if anyone sees people trespassing onto the tracks to text us on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency dial 999.”
British Transport Police officers will be conducting high visibility patrols throughout next week to stop people putting themselves in danger.
It is a criminal offence to trespass on the railway, and anyone found climbing on the bridge may be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.