Trespassers cause nearly three weeks’ worth of delays on Greater Anglia trains
Trespassers have caused nearly three weeks’ worth of delays on Greater Anglia trains in the past year.
Figures show trains were delayed for more than 30,000 minutes over the past 12 months due to trespassers on or near the tracks - an increase of 33% in three years.
Trespass incidents can range from people ‘playing chicken’ to someone walking beside the track to vulnerable people – but anyone who is on the railway line without permission is risking their life.
When an intercity train applies the emergency brake, it can take the length of 20 football pitches to stop.
Jay Thompson, Greater Anglia’s Train Service Delivery Director, said: “Safety is our priority on the railway. Stepping on to the tracks could result in life-changing injuries or death.
“We encourage people to be vigilant and take care when they are close to the railway. Sometimes people do not realise they are trespassing – they may think they are taking a shortcut home, but in fact they are putting their safety at risk.
“This behaviour can also cause delays and cancellations to services. We work hard to run a punctual and reliable railway, and trespassers hinder this by being on near the line.”
Land Sheriffs and Rail Pastors also patrol parts of the network to help people with their journeys and prevent people from going on the tracks.
Parents are being urged to keep a closer eye on their children during the school holidays, which is when a majority of trespass incidents occur.
Rupert Lown, Network Rail’s director of safety for Anglia, said: “It may seem harmless to take a shortcut, or fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also very dangerous. The dangers may not always be obvious and fast trains are often silent until they are so close that you will not get out of the way in time. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks is just not worth the risk.”