Network Rail is urging the public in the Kent area to follow rules and signals at railway crossings following two very near miss which caused two trains to carry out emergency stops.
Shocking reports shows a worrying trend of increasing incidents of trespassing in South East London and Kent, with a rise of 38%!
Individuals trespassing not only risk their lives but in most cases are breaking COVID-19 rules.
Two incidents, in particular, came very close to multiple injuries, these are:
- Pebble Lane (Rochester to Sole Street line) – four adult male cyclists crossed the tracks while lights were red, with the last cyclists within seconds of being hit
- Ripple (near Deal) – single cyclist crossing without dismounting and again seconds away from being hit.
Incidents like these need to stop before death or serious injury occurs and psychological effects on drivers who unfortunately cannot stop trains in time.
Anyone with information on either incident should text the British Transport Police on 61016.
Network Rail Head of Route Quality Health Safety & Environment Vincent van der Hoeven said: “I’m really saddened by the attitude of these adult cyclists in two recent incidents. People often assume that misusing level crossings is something young people do, but these were adults who must be fully aware that crossing in front of a train poses not just a danger to them but to the driver and passengers of the approaching train as well.
“We are all complying with the COVID lockdown out of respect for life and I would ask people to treat the risk of the railway with the same respect.”
“The instructions at level crossings are clear. Please don’t ignore them.”
Britsh Transport Police Inspector Jon Pine said: “In nearly twenty years of policing I have seen few examples of such senselessly idiotic behaviour on a level crossing. These cyclists clearly had absolutely no regard for their own safety or that of others – and I speak from experience when I say we could have easily been dealing with the catastrophic consequences.
“Trespass is of course a criminal offence and we’d be more than happy to educate these cyclists on the very real dangers of the railway.”
Head of Drivers for Southeastern Jim Maxwell added: “Our drivers are critical workers delivering a very important service to get people who have to travel to where they need to be during the current crisis, and don’t deserve the extra stress that these types of incidents cause.
“Reckless trespass incidents like this can have a profound effect on our drivers’ mental health and I fully support our colleagues at Network Rail and the British Transport Police in trying to identify and pursue the culprits.”
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