Adults risk toddler's life on railway in shocking CCTV footage: Woman climbs over locked level crossing gate

Wednesday 18 Jan 2017

Adults risk toddler's life on railway in shocking CCTV footage

Route:
London North Eastern & East Midlands

Network Rail and the British Transport Police have issued a second warning about the perils of level crossing misuse after more shocking behaviour on level crossings on Yorkshire’s railways.

The incident, captured on CCTV (available to download for online publication/broadcast), shows two adults climb over a six-foot-high locked gate at Seamer station in North Yorkshire before inexplicably passing a toddler over the same gate and running across the tracks in front of a train as it pulls into the station.

The couple, who appear to be running late for the train, are then trapped inside the crossing and repeat the stunt on the opposite gate before running up to the platform – only to miss the train anyway.

This second incident, which happened at around 6:30pm on New Year’s Eve, comes just three weeks after Network Rail and the BTP issued a stark warning about staying safe at level crossings after a man pushing a bicycle was almost killed by a train at Ducketts level crossing in Pudsey, Leeds.

Robert Havercroft, level crossing manager for Network Rail, said: “Whereas the incident at Ducketts demonstrated how important it is to pay attention at level crossings, the incident at Seamer shows reckless disregard for a level crossing system which is designed purely to keep people safe. In making the mindblowing decision to not only climb over two sets of high, locked gates these adults have put their lives and the child’s life in extreme danger, apparently for the sake of trying to catch a train.

“They had no way of knowing for certain that the approaching train was stopping at the platform and they were lucky to avoid this becoming the most disastrous way to end the year.”

Inspector Richard Price from British Transport Police said: “It’s extremely concerning to see this footage from Seamer station. Despite our constant warnings about using crossings safely and the dangers of the railway, unbelievably some people are still willing to risk their lives, and in this case, the life of a young child. People think it won’t happen to me, but it can and it does and it’s simply not worth the risk.”

Mike Drewery, group station manager North East for TransPennine Express who manage Seamer station commented: “The footage from the level crossing at Seamer is incredibly worrying and this blatant disregard for safety could have led to much more serious consequences, not only for the three people directly involved but for all those on board the train.

“We continue to work with industry partners including Network Rail to ensure the railway is a safe place and this gate is locked out of use for a reason. I would encourage anyone using a level crossing to do so safely at all times.”

To find out how to stay safe when using level crossings, visit www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossings

Notes to editors:

  • 675 pedestrians/cyclists use this level crossing daily
  • Across Yorkshire since 2014 there have been 6,000 reports of deliberate misuse at level crossings, include 50 ‘near misses’ and three fatalities.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office - Toby Higgins
Media relations manager (London North Eastern & East Midlands route)
Network Rail
01904 383180 / 07850 406724
toby.higgins@networkrail.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 4.7 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.

We are building a better railway for a better Britain.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk