Wednesday 17 May 2006

LEVEL CROSSING USERS URGED: 'DON'T RUN THE RISK' (WEST COUNTRY)

Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
This week, Network Rail launches a major national campaign to highlight the danger of level crossing misuse. The £3m campaign will feature extensive nationwide and local advertising including spots on television and radio and more than one million households will be targeted to receive information leaflets. The hard-hitting advertisements are an element of the most extensive public safety campaign ever run by the rail industry. The message is simple – level crossings are safe if used correctly – but if you run the risk the cost can be fatal. This sustained campaign aims to change the behaviour of level crossing users – to protect themselves and reduce the danger to train passengers. Although deaths at level crossings in the UK are low by international standards, crossing misuse now represents the largest single risk of train accident on the railway. John Armitt, Network Rail’s Chief Executive said: “Too many people die at level crossings every year – it is a senseless waste of life. Level crossings are safe if used correctly, but misuse them and your chance of surviving being hit by a train is virtually zero. “The seriousness we attach to this campaign is indicated by the extensive investment. It aims to shake the complacency of level crossing users who endanger themselves and others. We are telling them not to run the risk.” The television advertisement dramatises the consequences to motorists of level crossing misuse. The emotive film graphically portrays the damage that a train inflicts on a family car that has been struck on a crossing. The film is only one aspect of a campaign specifically targeted at ‘hot spot’ areas – places where there are higher numbers of level crossing incidents. All media channels will be used including television, radio, cinema, online, outdoor posters, newspaper advertisements and direct marketing. The work on this campaign is running in parallel with other Network Rail and industry initiatives to minimise the safety risk at level crossings. These include:
  • Development of solutions which could lead to the replacement of some crossings
  • Development of obstacle detection systems
  • Development of lower cost level crossing systems
  • Developing better and cost-effective ways of detecting and recording level crossings misuse
  • Working with the Police and Crown Prosecution Service to improve the prosecution of offenders
  • Highlighting the issues of level crossings to key political stakeholders
The television and radio advertisements will be first broadcast on Thursday 18 May and be followed by direct marketing and print and poster advertisements throughout the summer.

Notes to editors

1. Top Level Crossing Hotspots in the West Country: Lostwithiel - Cornwall, main line Truro - Near station, main line Halloon - Newquay branch line Umberleigh - Barnstaple branch line Red Cow - Near Exeter St. Davids Station Broad Oak - Near Gloucester Parsonage Farm - Castle Cary Salmon Pool - Exeter 2. Copies of the television, radio and poster advertisements along with video clips and photos of misuse are available on request 3. Channels for the campaign include: a. Television b. Radio c. Cinema d. Online e. Outdoor posters f. Newspaper advertisements g. Direct marketing h. Private users’ information packs i. Level crossings co-ordinators’ toolkit j. Partnership marketing k. Sustained public relations

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 -Western route
07730 354394
MediaRelationsWestern@networkrail.co.uk

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.

Usually, there are almost five 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.

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