Wednesday 18 Jul 2018
Shocking CCTV footage released as Network Rail and British Transport Police launch life-saving campaign as trespass reaches four year high in West Yorkshire
Network Rail and British Transport Police have joined forces to launch a new safety campaign urging youngsters to keep off the tracks as new figures reveal a four year high in young people risking their lives on the region's railways.
New stats reveal that between April 2017 and April 2018, there were 183 instances of young people trespassing on the railway in West Yorkshire. Network Rail and British Transport Police have also released new CCTV footage, which shows children throwing stones at trains and trespassing on the tracks at Low Moor Station near Bradford.
National figures also show that more than a quarter of teenagers (27%) confess to behaving in a way that could endanger their life on the railway. One in 10 teenagers admitted to walking along the railway line - more than two fifths of those (42%) in the last year¹.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “The railway is an extremely dangerous environment and trespassing on the railway can have devastating and life-changing consequences.
“People need to realise that the railway is not a playground and take note of the danger they are putting themselves in when they choose to trespass on the tracks. Network Rail has a team of 100 community safety managers who carry out safety workshops in schools and we work closely as a rail industry to reduce incidents- but we need everyone to do their bit too.
“We’d urge parents to speak to their children and keep them safe by educating them about the dangers they face when they step on the track.”
The number of young people taking risks on the railway track has gone up by almost 80 per cent in the last five years². In the last 12 months alone, seven young people under the age of 18 have lost their lives and a further 48 people have received life changing injuries.
As a result the rail industry and the British Transport Police have launched a new campaign - called ‘You Vs Train’, which targets teenagers to make them face the serious and devastating consequences for them and their loved ones when they make the potentially life-changing decision to ignore warnings and go onto the railway, with its obvious and hidden dangers. The campaign focuses on the real life story of Tom Hubbard, a young boy who suffered life changing injuries when he was electrocuted by overhead power cables, which is just one of the dangers faced when trespassing on the railway.
The new data also highlights some worrying seasonal peaks in the number of incidents, with the summer holidays seeing more than double the number of young risk takers, compared to the winter months⁴.
BTP Chief Superintendent Eddie Wylie said: “We hope that by sharing Tom’s story, young people who might have previously considered trespassing on the railways will think twice.
“We want his story to be heard – the tracks are not a playground. They’re incredibly dangerous and, as Tom’s story shows, can easily result in serious injury or worse.
“We hope the campaign will help young people to understand the risks, and help them to make the right decision and stay away from railway lines. Equally, it will also help them understand that bad decisions don’t just affect them, but they will have a deep and lasting impact on their families and friends as well. This campaign is not just for our young people but also their friends and family.”
The rail industry is also working together to roll out a new schools engagement programme, where community engagement managers from across Network Rail, British Transport Police (BTP) and Train Operating Companies will be out teaching thousands of children about railway safety. BTP officers will also be stepping-up patrols across the country.”
To watch Tom’s video and find out how to keep your children safe on the railway this summer visit: www.YouVsTrain.co.uk
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.