With the schools closed for the foreseeable future and parents seeking to fill their children’s time at home, British Transport Police and Network Rail are urging parents and carersto speak to their children and loved ones about the dangers posed by the railway and the importance of staying off the track.
Every year, there is a rise in the number of trespass incidents ahead of the Easter school holidays, when clocks go forward at the end of March and the evenings get lighter.
Now, with an undefined absence from school and the knowledge that fewer passenger trains may be running, there could be an even greater temptation to stray onto the rail network. Each year, hundreds of people take risks on and around the railway, resulting in tragic consequences and life-changing injuries.
From April 2018 to April 2019, 1076 trespass incidents were recorded in Wales, with 317 of these involving youths. Pyle, Bridgend and Cardiff Central are the locations which have faced the most issues in recent years. Since 2017, 34 incidents of trespass have been recorded in Pyle, 31 in Cardiff Central and 34 in Bridgend.
British Transport Police Inspector Beata Evans said, “We are continuing to proactively patrol the thousands of miles of railway network we police across Wales.
“Safety is our number one priority; we’re asking that we all speak to the young people in our lives and make them aware of the importance of rail safety, so that they understand that everyone loses when you step on the track.”
The Welsh Assembly Government this week passed legislation to close all caravan and camping parks as well as public footpaths and land access to minimise the spread of coronavirus.