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CrossCountry partners with Scouts to push rail safety education initiative

A partnership between CrossCountry and the Scout Association has been announced this week to educate children and young people about rail safety.

Educational materials have been developed by the operator for use by the Cub Scouts’ 150,000 members aged 7-10 that can help them act responsibly and safely around trains and at stations.

The partnership is hoped to reduce the number of tragic railway injuries and deaths, after it was revealed that trespass incidents had reached record levels, with young people more likely to take risks on the tracks.

Completing the materials could also help the Scouts to achieve a Personal Safety badge – one of the most popular for young people.

Scout badge launch Photo

CrossCountry’s managing director, Andrew Cooper, said: “Safety on the railways is our top priority, so we’re delighted to be able to work with the Scouts Association to help our nation’s children understand the dangers of not being safe and responsible.

“This partnership and the Personal Safety Badge will be promoted everywhere our train goes, taking the message across Britain to stay safe when on or near the railway.

“To young people the railway can be a place of wonder and excitement, but it is also a place of heavy engineering, fast moving trains and electric cables. In such an environment, the dangers of injury or worse are too great for people to think about not acting responsibly.”

Assistant chief constable of the BTP Robin Smith said that keeping young people safe was a top priority, and that the police were doing everything they could to prevent fatal incidents.

“However, we cannot tackle this issue alone and we are always keen to support any initiatives aimed at reducing trespass,” he added. “We hope the Personal Safety Badge will help youngsters spread this important safety message within their communities and stop children risking their lives on the tracks.”

Launched this week at Birmingham New Street station, local scouts along with representatives from CrossCountry, the British Transport Police (BTP) and Network Rail were joined by Paralympic medallist Simon Munn, who lost his leg in an accident on the railway.

“Railways can be a dangerous place and not a playground,” Munn said. “We’re all responsible for keeping young people and those who live or work near the railway safe, so we must do all we can to raise awareness of how to stay safe on the railway.

“We must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or even death.”

CrossCountry’s efforts to improve safety education also follows a similar scheme undertaken by Southern designed to teach young people about the railway.

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