Monday 17 Mar 2003

DRAMATIC SAFETY MESSAGE FOR SOUTHERN SCHOOLS

Route:
South East
Network Rails powerful education drama, I Dare You, is to be performed to school children at venues in Chatham, Surbiton, Epsom and Crawley. The play highlights the dangers of playing on the railway network and is part of an ongoing  education campaign to deter children from risking their lives, and those of others, by straying onto or deliberately damaging railway property. I Dare You is set beside an urban railway line. It tells the story, in soap opera style, of peer pressure within a gang of teenagers which leads to more and more destructive behaviour on the railway, eventually resulting in a tragedy. The play is aimed at schoolchildren in years 6 and 7 (aged 10-12). This age group was chosen as the children have not yet reached a typical age when they may be tempted to become involved in route crime such as trespass and vandalism. The themes of the play are also linked with key personal and social educational issues for schools, such as peer pressure and bullying. To help reinforce these vital messages, teachers are provided with I Dare You 2, a scripted presentation for class assemblies that the children can perform for each other back at school. - more - I Dare You - 2 Since the play was commissioned by Network Rail in the mid 1990s, the I Dare You message has been received by over 250,000 youngsters across the country. Margaret Barker, Network Rails route crime manager for the Southern Region, said: “Our aim is to use the powerful medium of drama to educate children in a thought provoking way and show how seemingly innocent antics on the railway can have shocking consequences.” “We believe the play brings home key safety messages to children in a way that has real impact, as well as being interesting and relevant to young people’s culture.” “If just one child comes to see I Dare You and then has the courage to say no to their peers when pressured to do something dangerous, it will have been worthwhile.”

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969
mediarelations@networkrail.co.uk

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk