In a bid to prevent injuries and fatalities, the dangers of trespassing on railway lines are being taught to school pupils in Wales via a new collaboration between Cambrian Railway Partnership and Rail Safe Friendly.
The scheme aims to teach around 100 primary and secondary children from schools within the catchment area of a three-kilometre stretch of line about the perils surrounding level crossings and trespassing on tracks.
Delivered directly into schools via digital learning channel Learn Live, which was set up in March this year, the Rail Safe Friendly Programme is sponsored by industry partners from across the rail sectors and has three levels schools can work towards: Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
At each level schools must ensure they have registered their attendance and the rail safety broadcasts have been viewed by all pupils and teachers, either live or on-demand. They are also required to sign up to the Switch-On Rail Safety website so they can receive safety updates from Network Rail.
In order to achieve Gold, the other 2 tiers must have been satisfactorily completed, with silver level including the promotion of the Switched-On website and details of the programme to parents and carers via various communication methods, including assemblies, newsletters and using a brief provided by Learn Live, the creation of a rail safety video, podcast or poster which can be promoted in school and on social media channels.
The Partnership aim to deliver this important initiative to other children and young people aged 16 to 24 who are not in education, employment and training (NEET) and would like to hear from organisations working in these sectors. See https://railsafefriendly.com/ for further details.
Claire Williams, Cambrian Railway Partnership Development Officer, said: “The Cambrian Railway Partnership sees this as a significant priority as it has the most level crossings than any other line in Wales and, as a result, has invested in educating children and young people in how to be safe around the railways. We are delighted to be working with Rail Safe Friendly to deliver this programme to thousands of school pupils, including youth groups such as Scouts.
“Rail is one of the safest forms of travel, however, safety incidents involving children still occur. This is why promoting safety on the railway is our top priority. We believe that the early engagement with young people will help prevent them taking unnecessary risks. They will be able to make smarter, more educated choices, when it comes to their safety and behaviour around level crossings and on trains.”
Stuart Heaton, Founder and Managing Director of Learn Live and Rail Safe Friendly, added: “We're delighted to welcome the Cambrian Railway Partnership to the Rail Safe Friendly programme. Thanks to their support vital rail safety education will be delivered directly to hundreds of children living close to the Cambrian Line. It is a great testament to the Cambrian Railway Partnership's investment in the communities that it serves that it is supporting Rail Safe Friendly to ensure young people are educated about the dangers of trespassing on the railway.”