Network Rail is pleading with parents in Yorkshire to hammer home the dangers of trespass and antisocial behaviour on the railway.
It comes as new figures reveal that young people are involved in more than half of incidents at one Yorkshire station*.
Shocking footage captured at Cross Gates station, on the York to Leeds line, shows two teens recklessly throwing a pedal bike onto the tracks. It creates a clearly dangerous obstruction, posing a risk to trains passing through the station.
People are being encouraged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the British Transport Police by texting 61016. In an emergency like this, people should always call 999.
Vicki Beadle, Operations Risk Advisor for Network Rail said: “I was astounded to see this reckless, irresponsible behaviour so close to the tracks at Cross Gates station. The railway is no place for games, and it certainly isn’t a playground.
“Seeing these young people put their lives at risk was a staggering reminder of our collective need to educate everybody about railway safety. I’d urge parents and carers to speak to their children about the devastating consequences of trespass, vandalism and antisocial behaviour.”
Not only can this dangerous behaviour lead to fatal or life-changing consequences for the individual, their family, and all of those involved. But it also causes enormous amounts of delay for passengers travelling to work, social events or to see loved ones.
Over the past year, trespass, vandalism and antisocial behaviour at Cross Gates station has resulted in more than 300 minutes of train delay. That’s because when objects or people are spotted too close to the tracks, Network Rail stops or slows down all trains in the area. This can cause knock-on delays right across the network.
It can be hugely expensive for taxpayers too, with the same type of careless actions at Cross Gates station alone costing the company £20,000 in the past year.
Network Rail works with the British Transport Police to crack down on this illegal behaviour, as well as visiting schools to educate young people on the dangers of the railway.
Sgt Rob Pile, British Transport Police said: “This shocking footage should act as a wake up call to parents – we need them to talk to their children and teenagers urgently about the dangers of the railway and the impact of reckless behaviour like this.
“We have increased patrols in the area in a bid to deter behaviour like this. Those responsible should know they will be caught and face prosecution.
“You can help us by texting 61016 or calling us on 0800 405040 to report any incidents.”