Trespass and vandalism have been a problem on the railways in Wales for a long time, causing delays and cancellations to passengers and costing a reported £583,000 in 2014. But there is also a human cost. In 2014, there were two trespass-related fatalities on the Wales route and there is is an average of 700 trespass crime events each year.
It was clear that action beyond previous projects was needed. The Rail Life initiative aims to reduce child and youth railway-related trespass and vandalism incidents to improve safety on the railway in Wales. The idea is to deliver an engaging rail safety message through education.
Working with a number of delivery partners, Rail Life delivers targeted safety messages in schools and through community engagement, and it’s working. There were no trespass-related fatalities on the route in 2015 and the Rail Life programme is now fully embedded in the main secondary school qualification in Wales.
“This is an unusually comprehensive project. It appears to be working well to reduce child and youth railway-related trespass and vandalism. As it is often TOCs operating in this area it is interesting to see this involvement from NR.”