Thursday 14 Jul 2005
PHOTOCALL: MP HELPS TACKLE TROUBLE ON THE TRACKS
- Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Date: 15 July 2005
Location: Gallowhill Road Bridge, Paisley
Event: Douglas Alexander backs summer safety scheme
Media contact: Donna Reid, 0141 555 4109
Minister for Europe, Douglas Alexander, is to kick-start Network Rail’s summer safety scheme for Scotland in his own constituency, Paisley.
The MP, who takes a hard line on railway crime, will get to grips with the No Messin’! campaign to tackle trespass and vandalism on the tracks. The scheme warns young people of the dangers of the railway and helps provide fun, alternative activities.
Jim Douglas, Network Rail Territory Health & Safety Support Manager, said: “Every year, thousands of Scottish children dice with death by messing about on the tracks. Trespassing, throwing missiles at trains and putting objects on the line put their own – and other peoples – lives at risk. We’re delighted Douglas Alexander is supporting our campaign to drive down cases of railway crime.”
Douglas Alexander added: “Crime on the railway endangers passengers and costs the industry more than £10 million each year. I’m pleased to back Network Rail’s serious approach to a dangerous problem.”
In the past year:
· A train ran over concrete blocks placed on the line near Paisley Gilmour Street station
· Children have damaged trains by throwing missiles at them
· A signal was deliberately vandalised
All these acts have potential for devastating consequences yet similar incidents are occurring across the country. Around 1,150 incidents of trespassing on Scotland’s railways were reported in the last year.
Sgt Allan Stewart of the British Transport Police Community Safety Department said: “These problems affect the whole community, especially during the summer months. We hope parents will support us by ensuring their children are nowhere near the tracks and helping to educate them on the dangers of trespassing.”
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