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Transport for Wales issues warning following surge in anti-social behaviour on Core Valley Lines

24 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Image: Transport for Wales

Data from Transport for Wales has revealed a 28% surge in anti-social behaviour at stations on Core Valley Lines so far this year.

Nearly two-thirds of instances of anti-social behaviour (73%) involved individuals under the age of 17 – while over a third (37%) of trespassing incidents involved young people too.

Abercynon has the highest percentage of anti-social behaviours of all stations on the Core Valley Lines.

The figures released to mark Rail Safety Week (24th – 30th June) also revealed a 38% reduction in trespassing incidents.

TfW has warned that the risk of death or serious injury for those who trespass on tracks or carry out anti-social behaviour has increased significantly since the introduction of electrified Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) went live for the South Wales Metro, carrying 25,000 volts of electricity.

Contact with the overhead lines has a one in 10 survival rate and the heat generated from the shock can reach temperatures of over 3,000 degrees.

In the last two years there have been almost 1,000 recorded incidents of trespassing and antisocial behaviour on the Core Valleys Lines.

Stones 

Antisocial behaviours reported in the last two years include individuals throwing stones at trains and across the tracks, items being dropped and collected from the track, as well as rugby balls and footballs being kicked on station platforms.

So far in 2024, Abercynon and Porth have seen the most cases of ASB (11% each) across Core Valley Line stations closely followed by Quakers Yard (9%).

Lois Park, Head of Community and Stakeholder Engagement at TfW said: “While it’s encouraging to see a declining trend in reported trespassing incidents, the introduction of OLE marks the need for continued caution.

“Worryingly, there seems to be more and more school-aged children trespassing when the stakes are higher than ever. Everyone, no matter their age, needs to be aware of the dangers. Even just one incident of trespassing could be fatal.

“However, it’s not just trespassing that is unsafe. Electricity from OLE can jump, and the risk of electrocution without direct contact is significantly higher. This means anti-social activities that people may not have deemed as ‘dangerous’ before can now have even more serious, potentially life-threatening consequences.

“People should stay at least 2.75 metres away from OLE at all times and take extra care when carrying objects such as umbrellas, helium balloons and fishing rods.”

Safety 

TfW has been taking additional measures to improve safety and security around rail tracks, with new fencing and extended safety barriers being added to key areas as well as drones monitoring for incidents of trespassing and antisocial behaviours.

However, numbers of cable theft and damage are still increasing, showing that people are still trespassing on the tracks despite the added dangers.

On average, train stations in south Wales have seen more cases of trespassing in 2024 so far than the rest of the country, with Cardiff Central station having the highest percentage (11%).

Anyone witnessing suspicious behaviour on tracks is urged to report it immediately to the British Transport Police at 0800 40 50 40 or by texting 61016. In emergencies, dial 999 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously at 0800 555 111.


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Linda Jones
Linda Jones
20 days ago

No staff at stations must make a difference.

Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
19 days ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

Like blaming someone for leaving a window open after being burgled, rather than blaming the burglar.

John Ellis
John Ellis
19 days ago
Reply to  Welsh Patriot

Unfortunately facts are facts. When I lived outside Manchester, our nearest railway station was at the rooftop level of the surrounding houses and shops because the line was elevated on an embankment. The station was only manned at the morning peak commuter time – at other times you bought your ticket from the guard on the train. And quite a few people – especially lone women and the elderly – were fearful of using the train at night because it was by no means unusual for there to be fifteen or twenty rowdy half drunk young teenagers either sitting on… Read more »

Daniel Pitt
Daniel Pitt
20 days ago

Not me standing at Quakers Yard station with my helium balloon and my fishing rod 😶

Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
19 days ago

TfW have to have employ Security Guards and Police on trains when the kids commute home from school.
Unbelievable

Paul Oen
Paul Oen
19 days ago

I think before a bad accident happens we should employ security and give heavy penalties like massive fines, or tag offenders that are repeat offenders. I have witnessed a fight on a train travelling between Swansea and Neath, between a number of teenagers and a man in his 40’s. There was a bloke that condemned the man for defending himself, while the 16 -17 year old was still trying to cause trouble. The attitude was that the older bloke was in the wrong for defending himself. There was no train staff or security, no transport police. The teenagers were cockahop… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
18 days ago

Doesn’t failure to fix the lift on platform 1 at Newport for months without any explanation count as anti social behaviour by TFW ? I complained TFW haven’t even bothered to acknowledge my email let alone reply.
The train from Abergavenny was so packed it was hard to breath.
Perhaps if TFW started treating it’s customers with respect then its customers would return the favour ?

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