Thursday 5 Feb 2004

NETWORK RAIL ON WARRINGTON’S TRACK FOR SAFETY

Region & Route:
Network Rail raced through a Young Citizen Crucial Crew at the Jonathan Ball & Tim Parry Peace Centre in Warrington, which ended on 30 January.  The two week long event targeted children aged 7 - 11 from junior schools across the Warrington area by carrying out a non-stop marathon of 15 minute workshops focusing on being safe near the railway and staying off the tracks.  Warrington Borough Council led the initiative by bringing together services and organisations such as the fire brigade, police, NSPCC and Arriva in an attempt to hammer home important safety messages to as many children in the area as possible.  The successful campaign has targeted schools throughout the country and is proving to be an efficient way for Network Rail to actively reduce railway crime.     The area around Warrington Central station is classed as the third highest railway crime area in the North West and there are also serious problems with crime on a stretch of line from Glazebrook to Sankey.  It was reported by Network Rail that 03/04 statistics show a total of 51 railway crime incidents on that stretch of railway alone.  That part of track has a line speed of 85mph and recorded incidents include: ·        Bricks being thrown at drivers’ windscreens ·        Objects e.g. metal bars deliberately being placed on the tracks with the intention of derailing the train ·        Children playing ‘chicken’ on the tracks - more - Crucial Crew - 2 ·        Children making a den on the railway line ·        Children lighting lineside fires             Network Rail targets as many youngsters as possible in ‘hotspot’ areas like Warrington and the crucial crew schemes are an effective way to do it.  The ‘track safe’ message focuses on the dangers of playing on the railway and the legal implication of route crime. Network Rail External Liaison officer, Alex Pilling said, “It’s important to target children at a young age, and make them fully aware of all the dangers surrounding railway crime.  By trespassing on the railway and committing acts of vandalism, they are putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.  “We are working hard towards reducing railway crime in the Warrington area, and with the support of the British Transport Police and the local community we are making headway reducing these statistics.”             Anyone who sees somebody trespassing on or causing damage to the railway is urged to report them to the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The numbers are open 24 hrs a day and the calls are free.  For local school or community group presentations on railway safety/ railway crime issues please call Alex Pilling on 0161 228 5815.

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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.

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