SHOCKING footage from Network Rail shows the scale of misuse at Grays station level crossing on station approach, as two people are fined for trespassing.
Mr David Pascan, pleaded guilty to trespass on 5 March at Westminster Magistrates court and was subsequently fined £265 for trespassing on the railway in January this year.
Mr Simon Delacy Sills was fined £619 on 27 March at Central London Magistrates’ Court for trespassing on the railway after he accessed the station via the level crossing in order to avoid paying a £7 fare.
The fines follow a crackdown on trespass at the level crossing by Network Rail and the British Transport Police. Patrols have been increased at this station in order to keep everyone on the right side of the tracks and out of harm’s way.
Trespassing on the railway is not only dangerous, it’s a criminal offence and offenders could be taken to court, facing a £1000 fine and a criminal record.
Certain parts of the railway, including stations, underpasses and level crossings, are open to the public. But when people go onto the tracks, embankments or other areas, they are trespassing. When someone is trespassing, Network Rail has to stop all trains in the vicinity to make sure everyone is kept safe. This not only delays nearby trains, but also has a knock-on effect on trains across the network.
Rupert Lown, Network Rail’s director of safety for Anglia, said: “This footage shows that people are ignorant to the danger they are putting themselves in when they take a short cut to the station or to avoid paying the fare. Choosing to flout the safety procedures can have life changing consequences for everyone involved. People risk their lives thinking it won’t happen to me, but it can and it does and it’s just not worth the risk.
“We are working closely with the British Transport Police to prosecute those who are caught trespassing in order to keep everyone safe. The message is clear; if you trespass at this crossing, not only do you risk your life, but also a large fine and a criminal record.”
Inspector Steve Webster from British Transport Police, said: “The misuse of this level crossing is disturbing. We’ve seen people time and time again putting their lives in risk when they deliberately disobey the warning signs by walking onto the tracks.”
“Trespassing onto the railway is a criminal offence and where offenders are identified we will prosecute. Those found guilty can expect a fine and a criminal record, or even a more serious consequence if they obstruct the railway. It is simply not worth the risk.”
Joel Mitchell, c2c delivery director, said: “We want to keep everyone safe and protect our passengers, staff and members of the public. People who run the risk at level crossings are creating danger for everyone, and even a near-miss can have a huge emotional impact on our drivers.”
To find out more about level crossing safety visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/pedestrians or search #BossingTheCrossing on social media.