PROFESSOR GREEN: STOP LISTENING TO MY MUSIC…AT LEVEL CROSSINGS IN ANGLIA: Professor Green supports Lose Your Headphones level crossing campaign

Wednesday 15 Aug 2012


Region & Route:
| Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern

Music artist Professor Green is encouraging people to stop listening to his music. Why? He’s teamed up with Network Rail for its latest safety campaign asking people to remove their headphones at level crossings so they aren’t distracted from warnings about approaching trains.

*Two people have tragically died this year at footpath crossings where it is thought they were wearing headphones. In the past five years, train drivers or railway staff have reported 19 incidents where pedestrians, joggers or cyclists wearing headphones have crossed the railway, seemingly oblivious to the approaching train.

The new digital campaign– Lose Your Headphones – features the popular rapper in a video which will appear on the music streaming service Spotify as well as being promoted via social media sites such as Twitter. Network Rail is also encouraging people to spread the word about removing headphones by offering a prize of Sonos music speakers to five lucky winners who re-tweet the campaign message.

Professor Green spoke about why he’s supporting the new campaign: “I never imagined asking people to stop listening to my music but this is about staying safe, so just for a minute, I want them to stop. I know it’s very easy to get caught up in a track when you have your headphones on and get distracted from where you are and what’s around you but I’m asking, please, lose your headphones when at a level crossing and pay attention to all the safety warnings. I don’t want anyone to end up on the tracks listening to one of mine.”

Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route managing director for the Anglia route, said: “People wear headphones all the time nowadays; on the train, walking down the street, and even cycling or in the shops. We think though that there are times when it makes sense to stop the music and devote your full attention to where you’re going.

“Trains can travel up to 125mph on the main British rail network and even with safety warnings such as lights and signs at footpaths across the tracks, it’s easy to get distracted if you’re caught up with your favourite tune. If Professor Green is asking people to stop listening to his music just for a few minutes, we hope people will listen up, lose their headphones, and not their lives.”

Dr Bruno Fazenda, from the Acoustics Research Centre, University of Salford said: “Hearing is the only sense that can warn us of dangers we can’t see and when listening to music with headphones we become isolated and are less likely to hear sounds that might tell us of approaching dangers. It’s not just the volume of the music but also because the headphone itself blocks out ambient noise. There is also plenty of evidence which shows that when you are doing two activities at the same time, such as listening to music or texting and crossing a railway track, your attention gets divided in such a way that you might not notice an approaching train even if all the warning signals are there. I love listening to music on the go but I would definitely put up with just a few moments of dull silence for a better chance to keep my life.”

The campaign will run over the next four weeks. For more information on Network Rail’s work to reduce risk at level crossings, visit:

Notes to editors

*A 15 year old girl was killed at Johnson’s footpath crossing in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire in January 2012. A set of headphones was found nearby. A new footbridge opened to the public on July 31 and the crossing has now been closed.
*In May 2012, a 30 year old man was killed after cycling over Kingsmill Barrow level crossing near Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts. News reports suggest he was wearing headphones.

You can view the video on You Tube at:

Total number of level crossings in the Anglia route: 903
Footpath crossings: 385
Level crossings closed since 2009 in the Anglia route: 93

Visit for more information and guidance on how to use them safely.

Network Rail has a dedicated youth initiative called Rail Life. Created in partnership with young people it aims to raise awareness of level crossing safety and other rail safety issues. The initiative will provide a wide range of resources, ranging from assembly kits to lesson plans, for use in schools and youth clubs.

The high impact youth website contains facts, videos, advice and lots of content on rail safety for teenagers (11-17 year olds).

The vision for the campaign is that it will become the main place that young people (and the professionals who work with them) will go to for insights and information on many aspects of the railway – from safety, to careers, to general information about Britain’s transforming rail network.

The Anglia route consists of the West Anglia, Great Eastern and Thameside routes – encompassing the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Greater London. The majority of services are operated by Greater Anglia (West Anglia and Great Eastern) and c2c (Thameside), and First Capital Connect and East Midlands Trains also provide services to Cambridge and Norwich respectively.

Contact information

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Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969

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