Monday 21 Mar 2005


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western
In the run up to the Easter holidays and to mark its ‘No Messin’ national railway safety campaign, Network Rail has revealed the worst areas for railway vandalism and trespass in the West Country.  Almost 1,500 railway crime incidents have been recorded in the last 12 months in the region.  Hotspots include Tuffley (57 reported incidents), Swindon (41 reported incidents) and Weston-Super-Mare (18 reported incidents). Peter Leppard, Network Rail’s Acting Western Route Director, said: “Last year in the UK, 34 people died on railway tracks – that’s 34 too many. Each one represents a tragic story of ignoring all the warnings that the railway is not a place to hang around, use as a short-cut or to play on. The school holidays, especially Easter and summer, are a time when such incidents are likely to rise and we need to hammer home the railway safety message in an effort to prevent further tragedies.” There are an estimated 27 million cases of trespass on Britain’s railways every year, including 640,000 objects placed on the tracks and four million objects thrown at trains.  As young people commit many of these crimes, Network Rail has developed the ‘No Messin’ safety campaign, stylised to fit today’s popular culture and aimed at those aged between ten and 16 years-old. Peter Leppard continued: “As the infrastructure owner, we have a responsibility to spread the message that the railway can be a dangerous place.  You wouldn’t try to use a motorway as a short cut or a place to hang out – so why the railway?  Our message is clear: No Messin’.” Based on the premise that many young people are tempted to play on tracks because they are bored and have nothing else to do with their time, the ‘No Messin’ campaign aims to provide a diversion from unsafe activities, rather than trying to change behaviour through shock tactics.  Over the coming months, the campaign will be rolled out, nationwide, at lots of different events and in particular focused in hotspot areas where railway crime is highest. 

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