Latest Rail News

19.06.20

The Office of Rail and Road warns trespassers

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is reminding people of the dangers around trespassing on the railway and to not take any unnecessary risks.

The rail regulator has seen a concerning spike in near miss incidents being reported as well as a surge in actual trespass incidents on the railway.  

ORR is urging people to remember trespassing is illegal. It is also incredibly dangerous, with a number of lives lost every year.

Figures from Network Rail show trespassers disrupted vital passenger and freight services across Britain a staggering 1,024 between 23 March and 26 April, on average 34 incidents a day.

The numbers show a 25% increase from 818 incidents in the same period last year. The ORR has followed up a number of reported incidents, and believes that in most cases an error of judgment was the overriding factor.

Network Rail, the ORR and British Transport Police have been working in collaboration to discourage any risky behaviour around the railway by both educating the general public and challenging any instances, for example through filming or advertising, that appears to condone unsafe and potentially life-threatening activity.

HM Chief Inspector of Railways, Ian Prosser CBE, said: “There may be some misconception that as the country went into lockdown, so did the railway. This was not the case as passenger and freight services have been running throughout, with services becoming more frequent as timetables are increased and the lockdown is eased.

“We also advise anyone aiming to depict trespassing on the railway as a means of promotion that it could lead to copycat behaviour being taken that may cause serious injury or death to those doing it.”

Allan Spence, Head of Public and Passenger Safety for Network Rail, said: “As well as putting themselves at risk of serious harm, trespass directly affects passengers as many trains will be delayed. As train service levels increase and things start to return to a new normal, it is more important than ever for everyone to stay off the tracks and stay safe.”

Superintendent Alison Evans, of BTP’s Disruption and Trespass Improvement Programme, said: “The Trespass Improvement Programme has targeted hot spots, including level crossings, where people need to take extra care when crossing the tracks, and has had considerable success in reducing trespass numbers, but it is also important that we address any inappropriate activity which clearly depicted dangerous actions."

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