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Welsh children risking lives on dangerous railway tracks, says safety partnership

26 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Conwy Railway Station.

Richard Evans, Local Democracy Reporter

North Wales school children are putting their lives at risk by walking along a deadly railway track, a safety partnership has warned.

Despite trains travelling at speeds of up to 45mph through the medieval town of Conwy, children and teenagers have been seen walking along the tracks.

As well as walking down the tracks towards nearby tunnels, youngsters are also crossing the railway illegally, rather than walking up the steps and around to reach the opposite platform.

Conwy Valley Railway Partnership has also reported children sitting on the platform, dangling their legs above the railway, risking losing limbs or being dragged under passing trains.

Some of the children have been identified as pupils from Ysgol Aberconwy, and the partnership is now working with the school on an art project.

Pupils’ designs will then be spray painted on the station’s shelters by a graffiti artist.

Karen Williams, community rail officer from the Conwy Valley Railway Partnership, said: “We’ve had people trespassing on the line, during the summer holidays especially.

“That can be local children, and we’ve also had instances with tourists crossing the track to access the platform.

“People are accessing the opposite platform by crossing the tracks dangerously – the youngsters are walking on the railway line. We’ve contacted the local school.

“Some of the children have been identified as being from the school, which is why we are going there to relay the message.

“It is a huge worry. It could be an absolute tragedy. The trains are travelling through Conwy at 45mph.

“There are also children sitting on the platform and dangling their legs. There is a risk of losing their legs or the train taking them under.”

She added: “Railway stations are dangerous if not treated with respect.

“We have recognised the issue, and we are using local graffiti artists to create a project around rail safety to get a message across to the youngsters.”

‘Not a playground’

A British Transport Police spokesperson said: “The railway is not a playground.

“Every time someone steps onto the tracks they are putting themselves in danger.

“We deal with hundreds of trespass incidents every year that often result in life-changing injuries and in the worst-case scenario loss of life – both outcomes are avoidable.

“Please make sure you know the rail safety basics and pass that knowledge onto your loved ones.

“Anyone who spots someone trespassing is asked to report it to us by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40. Always ring 999 in an emergency.”

Conwy County Council was contacted for a comment on behalf of Ysgol Aberconwy.

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