Increased patrols as track trespass rises during Warwick station upgrade: Warwick station platforms

Friday 7 Jul 2023

Increased patrols as track trespass rises during Warwick station upgrade

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: Central

Passengers using Warwick station are being urged to stick to the clearly signed walking route between platforms during its multi-million pound accessibility upgrade.

Work started earlier this year to install new lifts which resulted in the subway linking the two platforms being closed.

A diversionary route around the outside of the station is in place to provide access to trains at both platforms.

However it’s led to a worrying rise in people dangerously crossing the tracks to take a short cut to the opposite platform.

Alarmingly since May, there have been 10 reported cases of people cutting across the live railway lines to get between platforms, potentially putting their lives in danger.

In reality this is likely to be much higher as these are just the cases which have been reported.

Dozens of passenger and freight trains travel through the station every day, at speeds of up to 100mph.

Patrollers are now operating at Warwick station while the work takes place to help passengers follow the correct walking route, explain the dangers involved with crossing the tracks and stop people trespassing.

Network Rail, Chiltern Railways and British Transport Police are urging people to stay on the platforms and use the clearly signed diversion and not put their lives at risk by trespassing.

Elinor Weymouth, scheme project manager from Network Rail, said: “Trespass causes issues for everyone using the railway – and there is the very real risk of life-changing injuries or death if those doing it were to be hit by a train.

“The diversion route is necessary while we install new lifts at Warwick station, which make the railway more accessible for everyone. We’re sorry for the disruption but please, follow the diversion and keep yourself and others safe. A short cut is not worth risking your life for.”

Jacqueline Dey, operations director at Chiltern Railways, said: "One incident of trespass on the railway is one too many, and we are concerned that reports of trespass have increased at Warwick station while upgrades to the station are taking place.

"A few minutes of your time is not worth risking your life and wellbeing for. Trespassing on railway tracks puts yourself and others in immediate danger, and is a prosecutable offence.

"While the new lifts at Warwick station are installed, please follow the clear diversionary route in operation. We'd like to thank the vast majority of customers for doing so, and for their patience while these important lift installations are completed."

Inspector James Paget from British Transport Police said: "People need to ask themselves whether taking a few minutes off their journey time is worth cutting short their life. Trespassing on the railway can have deadly consequences.

"We continue to work with our industry partners including Chiltern Railways and Network Rail to drive home this message.

"If you witness trespassing on the rail network you can text us on 61016, call us on 0800 40 50 40 and call 999 in an emergency."

Last month, Network Rail and British Transport Police relaunched its You vs Train campaign featuring the story of Harrison Ballantyne, who lost his life while trespassing on the railway six years ago.

The work at Warwick station is part of a multi-million-pound investment by Network Rail which will see two new lifts installed in the existing subway as part of the government’s Access for All scheme.

They will provide step-free access for passengers using platforms 1 and 2 for the first time.

The lifts will improve access to the railway, helping people with reduced mobility, families, prams, and heavy luggage get to and from their trains.

Works started in March 2023 and is expected to be completed Spring 2024.

Trespass or any railway-related crime can be reported by texting 61016, calling the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or, in an emergency, dialling 999.

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