Recent statistics from Network Rail and British Transport Police show that there were 5,100 trespass incidents over the summer months, with the total number of incidents recorded in September at 1,239, the worst recorded for that month in the past five years.
Trespass is a serious issue for Network Rail, hence their You vs Train campaign which was created in partnership with British Transport Police in summer 2018.
Originally concentrating on the problem of youth trespass, the number of incidents across the network involving young people aged 18 or under at key target locations has been decreasing year on year.
Although, the overall national figures are sabotaging this trend and, for the first time in three years, the total number of incidents in August and September 2020, have actually increased, by 12% and 17% respectively, as compared to the same months in 2019.
As well as releasing the figures, Network Rail has issued a number of images caught on CCTV during the summer months, which show the variety of incidents that have taken place across Great Britain.
Allan Spence, Head of Passenger & Public Safety at Network Rail, said: “These numbers show just how much work still needs to be done to educate people about rail safety. Our You vs Train campaign has been really successful getting the message to young people but adults still aren’t taking heed. Wedding photos or selfies on the track are just plain stupidity.
“We often warn families at this time of year as kids enjoy school half term holidays. But this time we are appealing to adults in particular. Please, make sure you know the rail safety basics and pass that knowledge onto your loved ones. Lead by example and stay off the tracks. No ifs, no buts, no tears.”
HM Chief Inspector of Railways, Ian Prosser CBE said: “We keep seeing people take unnecessary risks around the railway and this behaviour could result in fatal or life-changing consequences.
“These new statistics showing the increase is truly worrying. The hidden dangers on the railway are real: each year hundreds take on the railway and lose and their actions have far-reaching and devastating consequences for their friends and family.
“We will continue to work with Network Rail and BTP to educate the general public about rail safety but also discourage any risky behaviour around the railway.”
Images: Network Rail