Network Rail regulation and performance

20.11.19

Network Rail and BTP launch alcohol-related safety campaign

A national campaign launched by Network Rail and British Transport Police is urging the public to take care on railways when drinking alcohol.

Alcohol-related incidents on the railways have reached record levels as newly-released figures show a 30% increase in drink-related incidents on the railway in the last decade.

The campaign, which will run over the festive period, urges rail passengers to make sure a hangover or ‘texting your ex’ is the only thing they regret after a Christmas night out.

Slips, trips and falls at stations always see an increase in the run up to Christmas as more people use rail to travel and the floor becomes icy. Including the number of trespass offences, 9,378 alcohol-related incidents were recorded last year, up from 7,070 in 2010/11.

This has a knock-on effect to service, as more than 4,300 hours of delays nationally were attributed to alcohol-related incidents last year.

Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety for Network Rail, said:

 “The increase in alcohol-related incidents on the railway is a major concern, which is why we have joined with our colleagues at the BTP to urge passengers to stay safe over the festive period.

“Many of us would admit to doing things we regret after a few drinks, but the consequences of unsafe behaviour near the railway could last for much longer than just the morning after.”

The safety suggestions released as part of the campaign include standing back from the platform, holding the handrail on stairs and escalators, staying off the railway tracks, obeying level crossings and asking staff if you need help.

British Transport Police inspector Becky Warren explained:

 “We want everyone to enjoy the festivities and whilst it’s the party season, we don’t want you to have any next day regrets.

“We’ve seen first-hand that alcohol can really affect your judgement and after a few drinks people often take greater risks, which can lead to people getting hurt or even killed.”

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