Network Rail urges people to stay off tracks after trespassing incidents increase across West Country

Network Rail is urging people to stay off the tracks after numerous delays for its key worker passengers, who still rely on the railway to get to work.

Since lockdown started the number of ‘unnecessary delays’ caused by trespassers has increased with 65 reported incidents across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Network Rail has shared pictures captured in the last few years to raise awareness of the dangers of trespassing. Credit: Network Rail

Instances of trespassing in the recent weeks according to Network Rail include:

  • Teenagers playing chicken on the track in North Somerset in the Long Ashton and Nailsea areas

  • Objects being put on the line in Devon

  • Young people sitting on bridges dangling their legs over the edge in Wiltshire

The figures also include 28 level crossing misuse and vandalism incidents.

Trespassing on the railway is illegal and Network Rail explained that, whenever people stray onto tracks, all trains in the vicinity must be stopped to ensure that everyone is kept safe.

These trespass incidents are shocking, and show how many people are oblivious to the dangers they are putting themselves, their friends or loved ones in.

Steve Melanophy, community safety manager for Network Rail

Trespass on the railway is a criminal offence and can lead to a fine or imprisonment.

Superintendent Mark Cleland, British Transport Police