UK annual summer safety season
“Don’t Play on the Railway!” This is DB Cargo Uk’s strapline for a new campaign to promote rail safety during the summer school holidays. Children across the country are being reminded of the dangers and potentially life-changing consequences of trespassing on railway tracks.
Freight operators are not alone in combatting trespass. The particularly high safety standards to which the British network is held encourage all sectors of the rail industry to take proactive steps. Network Rail, the national infrastructure agency, passenger operators, and the specialist law enforcement agency – British Transport Police – are all involved. Although it is a year-round problem and often associated with vandalism and theft, the school summer holidays present the biggest annual challenge.
“Our sites and depots support the UK’s busy railway network”, said Marc Binney, Head of Safety at DB Cargo UK. Binney disappointedly emphasised that despite previous warnings, trespassing on railway sites continues to be a serious concern. He warned that there are potentially life-threatening hazards faced when entering railway sites, sidings, or the mainline network unauthorised. “Schoolchildren, or any member of the public for that matter, put themselves in serious danger if they trespass on railway sites,” he warned. “They are potentially very dangerous places for people who are unfamiliar with them and have no safety training. There are frequent train movements, high voltage electric cables, and other machinery that all present a significant risk to trespassers.”
DB Cargo UK is actively investing substantial amounts of money each year in measures such as fencing, site security, and safety signage to deter illegal trespassers. The company says that regular checks are conducted to ensure site security, and immediate action is taken in the event of a potential breach.
Significant time and resources annually
“The railway is not a playground and it is deeply concerning to see people taking serious risks to their own and other people’s safety”, said Matt Rice, Route Director for Network Rail’s North and East Route, where there have recently been shocking incidents of trespass and vandalism. ”Trespassing incidents on the railway are dangerous for everyone who uses the system since they can result in serious injuries or, in the worst instance, fatalities. We urge the general public to report any instances of trespassing they see to the [British Transport Police], as well as parents, teachers, and other responsible people to make sure children understand the dangers of trespassing.”
In addition to their efforts, DB Cargo UK collaborates closely with passenger and freight operators as well as Network Rail to educate the public, particularly young people, about the dangers associated with illegal access to the railway. The rail industry as a whole invests significant time and resources annually to educate the public on the risks they expose themselves to by trespassing on railway sites and tracks. Their campaign aims to promote a sense of responsibility and caution among children and raise awareness about the potential life-changing injuries or even fatalities that can result from trespassing on railway tracks. As the school holidays commence, it is crucial for parents, guardians, and educators to reinforce the message of rail safety.