Warning as young people risk their lives at level crossings in Sussex including Eridge

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A series of shocking images have been released by Network Rail of young people taking risks on the railway in Sussex.

The pictures have been released to remind young people and their parents that their actions can have serious consequences and put the welfare of passengers at risk too.

The two incidents took place on level crossings covered by CCTV cameras.

The first incident occurred on 4th May. In the image, a girl can be seen using her mobile phone whilst lying down on the track at a level crossing near Eridge.

In the other which happened on 14th May two boys can be seen walking down the track at Bewbush near Ifield.

It comes after figures released in March showed their was a surge in reckless behaviour, when Britain emerged from the lockdown last summer. In our region there was a 40% increase in youth trespass incidents.

The young people (whose faces have been disguised in the photos) have already been spoken to by police officers.

Network Rail Head of Route Quality Health Safety & Environment, Vincent van der Hoeven, said:

We really must get the message across to children and their parents the dangers of trespassing on the track.

We are putting efforts into getting the message across in schools and on social media through our ‘Parallel Lines’ film and ‘You vs Train’ campaign.”

Vincent van der Hoeven, Network Rail Head of Route Quality Health Safety & Environment

Nicola Dooris, Community Safety Manager on the South East Route, said:

Unfortunately during lockdown, we have seen an increase in the numbers of young people messing about on the railway.

On that section of track trains often travel at 85 mph and at that speed, unlike cars, trains can take hundreds of metres to stop, a fact many young people don’t realise.

Using CCTV like this I’m often able to track down young people and talk to them and I’d much rather do that than help our staff cope with the aftermath of young people being killed.

Nicola Dooris, Community Safety Manager on the South East Route

Network Rail has also worked with British Transport Police on the uncompromising You vs Train campaign for three years, aiming to educate young people on the devastating and wide-reaching consequences of trespass but the message to adults is the same – Don’t risk your lives or others by trespassing on the railway when a red light is displayed.

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