Network Rail and contractor Enerveo team up to boost safety by getting balls back in play at Manor Farm Football Club in Bristol: Bristol Manor Farm football club were grateful for the help from Network Rail

Monday 25 Sep 2023

Network Rail and contractor Enerveo team up to boost safety by getting balls back in play at Manor Farm Football Club in Bristol

Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western

Following an increase in railway trespass incidents in the vicinity of the Portway based football club, Network Rail has worked with the sports facility to implement measures to keep the balls on the pitch. 

A concerning rise in the number of young people trespassing on the railway near Manor Farm Football Club has led to a collaboration between Network Rail, construction company Enerveo, and the club, who have worked together to understand what’s driving the increase in incidents. 

A visit from Network Rail to inspect the boundary fence between the club and the railway revealed young people were sometimes climbing over a wooden fence to retrieve balls that had inadvertently been kicked onto the railway. Upon assessing the fencing, Network Rail implemented a number of measures to prevent this dangerous activity, including the installation of a new palisade boundary fence. 

The inspection also led to the discovery of several large holes in the football netting, which was causing a number of balls to break free of the nets and roll onto railway land. Following discussions between Network Rail and Enerveo, a contractor working on the redevelopment programme at nearby Bristol Temple Meads, Enerveo jumped at the opportunity to make a positive impact on the local community and assisted with fixing the nets for the football club. 

Andy Phillips, Network Rail programme manager for route crime, said: “It was a great pleasure to work with Enerveo and Bristol City Manor Farm Football in securing the existing football netting to help stop the balls from going over onto the railway infrastructure, which was leading to a rise in trespassing in the area.  

“The railway is not a playground and there are many hidden dangers. Incidents of trespass on the railway cause issues for everyone using the network, where an individual could sustain life-changing injuries and in the worst-case scenario, loss of life. 

“To raise awareness of the dangers of trespassing, a video called ‘Harrison’s Story’ shows how making the wrong choice to trespass could so easily lead to devastating consequences for not only the trespasser but also their friends and family”.  

Justin Owens MCIOB EngTech MICE, Network Rail’s chartered construction manager, Capital Delivery, said: “Enerveo are the principal contractor for Network Rail on the Bristol Temple Meads re-wire project and are active in community projects. They recently installed new safety netting for Network Rail at Bristol Manor Farm, a popular local football club. The installation was carried out successfully and has now improved the safety of visitors, players, and passers-by in the area.  

“Enerveo's team worked tirelessly to install the safety netting to the highest standard, ensuring that it was secure, safe, and reliable. The netting was specifically designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and the wear and tear of daily use, making it ideal for long-term use in high-traffic areas.” 

Rachel Caswell, secretary at Bristol Manor Farm Football club, said: "We would like to say a big thank you to Network Rail for successfully completing the netting fix at Bristol Manor Farm, despite the challenging weather conditions! It was essential for us to ensure the safety and security of our players, staff and supporters at The Creek, and their contractors, Enerveo, did an outstanding job.  

“Their prompt response and efficient execution are a testament to their professionalism. We can now look forward to safely welcoming The Farmy Army back to The Creek for the upcoming games.” 

Steve Melanophy, Network Rail’s project leader for route crime, said: “The generous pro-bono netting and work that Enerveo have procured as a main contractor currently working at Bristol Temple Meads has provided a solution of stopping footballs entering the railway infrastructure. 

“With the addition of the new fencing, this has been a great collaboration project that has had a positive impact on the football club and the wider community.” 

Notes to Editors

Main photo credit: Manor Farm Football Club

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Emily Maiden
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