Published on: Monday, 3 October 2022
Last updated: Monday, 3 October 2022
Safety measures at Bishop's Stortford railway station. Credit: Greater Anglia
Greater Anglia has implemented additional measures to help keep people safe at some railway stations on its West Anglia route, after figures from the past year revealed trespass incidents caused almost three days’ worth of delays.
New measures have been installed at some of Greater Anglia’s busiest railway stations between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street to help keep people away from the tracks, after figures showed trespass incidents delayed trains by more than 65 hours over the course of a year.
Additional fences, gates and witches’ hats – rubber spikes on the ground which deter people from accessing the track – have been introduced at several stations, to help keep people safe.
Matt Wakefield, Greater Anglia’s Head of Safety, Security and Sustainability, said: “Safety is our top priority on the railway. These measures are designed to help keep people off the tracks and remain in a safe place.
“I would like to remind people that the railway is not a playground. People should never go on the tracks without permission. Anyone who accesses the track without permission is risking their life and the lives of others.
“We are constantly striving to improve the punctuality and reliability of our railway. We know our customers want a punctual, reliable service, and trespass incidents can cause lengthy delays to train services. In just one month over the past year, services were delayed for more than 14 hours due to trespassers.
“Anyone who sees someone on the tracks who shouldn’t be there should alert a member of rail staff immediately or dial 999 in an emergency.”
Greater Anglia works with the charity Samaritans, which offers training to all rail staff across the country. Almost 500 members of staff from Greater Anglia have taken part in the course which teaches rail staff how to recognise someone who may be vulnerable, how to approach them and start a conversation.
They are taught some of the essential listening skills that underpin Samaritans’ volunteer services as well as how to get the person to a place of safety and refer them onto friends, family, the British Transport Police or Samaritans to receive further support.
Samaritans are available all day, every day on 116 123.