Young people from across Bristol take part in railway safety workshop and mini football tournament with the rising stars of Bristol City F.C: You vs Train BCFC

Friday 9 Aug 2019

Young people from across Bristol take part in railway safety workshop and mini football tournament with the rising stars of Bristol City F.C

Region & Route:
Western
Wales and Western

Earlier this summer, Network Rail and the British Transport Police (BTP) launched a new partnership with the English Football League Trust (EFL Trust) and StreetGames to help tackle the increasing number of people risking their lives on the railway in Bristol.

One of the most problematic areas for trespass in the city saw a 44% increase in the number of incidents in 2018/19 when compared with the previous year. Of these, almost 39% involved children or young people.

Figures released in May reveal that nationally, over 250 incidents of people taking risks on the railway are recorded per week. Incidents ranged from people taking short-cuts, capturing photos and ‘train surfing’ – sometimes with tragic consequences. A third of all recorded trespass incidents involve people under the age of 18.

Network Rail is working closely with Bristol City Football Club and StreetGames, harnessing the power of sport to educate, engage and encourage positive change for the lives of disadvantaged or vulnerable young people in the area. As part of this initiative, over 20 young people from Bristol attended a round robin tournament in Bedminster on Wednesday 7 August, where they learned about railway safety and met other young people from across the city.  Two of the rising stars of Bristol City F.C, Saikou Janneh and Opi Edwards were on hand at the event to share their experiences and speak with those attending.

The event provided a platform to bring together different people from the Bristol area to share Network Rail’s ‘You vs Train’ campaign message – that the railway is full of hidden dangers and everyone loses when you step on the track. As well as this, those that attended had the opportunity to mix with people that they might not normally meet, breaking down stereotypes and creating positive change.

Dr Paul Clark, director of safety, health, environment and quailty for Network Rail's Western route, said: “Children, and adults alike, continue to risk their lives by going onto the track and it has to stop. Every day across the country we see over three dozen incidents and each one could be a potential catastrophe leading to life-changing injuries or even death.

“Sport is a powerful vehicle for communicating with this hard-to-reach audience, so by working in partnership with these sports charities we hope to be able to reach children and teens in those communities most at risk with this incredibly important safety message.”

BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said: “The lack of knowledge about the potential dangers seems to be why children choose the tracks as a place to take risks, so our main focus is on providing much-needed education. By working closely with The EFL Trust and StreetGames, it will give us the best possible chance of ensuring that the message resonates where it is most needed.”

The EFL Trust is the official charity of the English Football League and StreetGames is a charity that runs a network of local projects.

Mike Evans, Director of Operations at The EFL Trust, said: “Bringing about positive change in the community is at the very core of The EFL Trust’s values. Football can be an enormous force for good and have a profoundly positive impact on communities – so we are looking forward to helping tackle this issue in those areas where children and young people are particularly vulnerable.”

Stuart Felce, StreetGames Head of Community Safety, said: “We were alarmed to hear how many young children unintentionally risk their lives on the railway every year. Our projects involve working closely with disadvantaged children and young people every day and so we are perfectly placed to help deliver this safety message in a way that we hope will resonate.”

To watch the new video and find out how to keep your children safe on the railway visit: www.YouVsTrain.co.uk.

Notes to Editors

Notes to editors:

Network Rail, British Transport Police, EFL Trust and StreetGames have identified 48 high-risk trespass locations across Britain, which will be targeted over the coming months. These include:

South London, Croydon, Sittingbourne, Gillingham, Enfield, Ipswich, Norwich, Pitsea, Chelmsford, Reading, Bedminster, Sheffield, Leeds, Derby, Dewsbury, Frizinghall, Rotherham, Nottingham, Doncaster, Birmingham, Stalybridge, Pendleton, Greater Manchester, Rochdale, Coventry, Milton Keynes, Bridgend, Darlington, County Durham, Dalmuir and Shettleston.

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail

Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk

About British Transport Police

We are the national police force for the railways. Our aim is to keep you safe and make you feel secure while you travel.

We police Britain’s railways, providing a service to rail operators, their staff and passengers across the country. We also police the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the Midland Metro tram system, Croydon Tramlink, Sunderland Metro, Glasgow Subway and Emirates AirLine.

Six million people use the rail network every day and we're here to keep you safe and help you feel secure on your journey.

About StreetGames

StreetGames (www.streetgames.org) is an award-winning national sports charity launched in 2007. A delivery partner of Sport Wales and the Welsh Government, and Sport England, and a national centre of expertise for developing sport in disadvantaged communities. StreetGames helps make people and communities healthier, safer and more successful by making sport accessible to all young people, regardless of their income or social circumstances. It does this by supporting and establishing locally trusted organisations around the UK that deliver doorstep sport. Doorstep sport sessions include positive activities and sport provided to young people when they want it, where they want it and how they want it. Over 2.4 million attendances have already been generated by StreetGames’ programmes. StreetGames has now grown to support over 1,000 locally trusted organisations across the UK. 530,000 children and young people living in the UK’s poorest communities are enjoying a more active lifestyle and the opportunity to volunteer within their local community because of StreetGames.

About the EFL Trust

EFL Trust is a national charity that uses the power of football to change people’s lives.

EFL Trust unites the inspirational work delivered across England and Wales by the dedicated network of Football Club Community Organisations associated to the 72 EFL Clubs. 

Last year, the network engaged over 1 million people, using the power of football to improve individual’s health, inspire education, reduce crime, increase participation in activity and tackle many difficult social issues like drug abuse, counter extremism and homelessness.

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 -Western route
07730 354394
MediaRelationsWestern@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 4.8 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.

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