Friday 18 May 2018
New research reveals lack of knowledge about railway dangers leads to more people taking risks at level crossings in Wales
New research from Network Rail reveals over a quarter 1 (28 per cent) of adults in Wales believe crossing a motorway is more dangerous than crossing a railway, despite the fact that trains are unable to stop quickly, or change direction.
The survey, carried out by Populous on behalf of Network Rail, shows this lack of awareness is causing more people to take risks, with only 29 per cent identifying that crossing when level crossing barriers are down and no train is coming is a risk and only 18 per cent recognising that crossing when distracted poses a danger.
Bill Kelly, acting route managing director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “A lack of knowledge around how dangerous the railway can be means more people are not taking the proper care at level crossings and are putting themselves in danger.
“We are working closely with British Transport Police and Arriva Trains Wales to educate the public on the dangers of misusing the railway.
“We are also investing more than £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, but we need everyone who uses level crossings to do their bit too.”
While Britain has the safest rail network in Europe, level crossings are one of the biggest public safety risks as the 1,487 miles of track on the Wales and Borders route directly interfaces with 1,150 level crossings, more than any other route on the network.
To help increase awareness of the dangers at level crossings, Network Rail is leading a national safety campaign targeted at pedestrians during the summer months. This will reach young people with safety messages through social media and new technologies such as geo-targeting 2 to communicate with the right people at the right time with the right safety messages. Furthermore, the rail infrastructure company has worked with EON Reality to produce a series of virtual reality films3 which can be used to educate key user groups, including young adults.
Network Rail’s team of over 100 level crossing and community safety managers will continue to work with British Transport Police officers and raise awareness of level crossing safety across the rail network, holding safety events, briefings in schools and encouraging young people to stay alert and avoid distractions when using the railway.
To find out more about level crossing safety visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/pedestrians or search #BossingTheCrossing on social media.
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.