Network Rail issues safety warning after shocking CCTV footage captures children dangerously playing at level crossing

Karel Novak, Published on 14/07/2022
Network Rail issues safety warning after shocking CCTV footage captures children dangerously playing at level crossing
@networkrailmediacentre.co.uk

CCTV footage at Wantage Road level crossing in Grove, Oxfordshire, has recently captured footage of a group of children staying and dancing on the railway, putting themselves at unbelievable risk.


The shocking footage (video link here) was discovered after the driver of a 125mph express train recently reported applying the emergency brakes after seeing children playing on the track. It depicts the actions of this group of children and their reckless and dangerous behavior on the level crossing, including what appears to be one of the groups dancing near the railway track as the high-speed train passes just inches away.

Alison Kramer, Network Rail’s Community Safety Manager, said: “The behavior of the children captured by CCTV is really shocking and reckless. The railway is not a playground and what they are doing is extremely dangerous.

Wantage Road level crossing is based in the village of Grove in Oxfordshire and allows users to cross the four tracks of the main line between Didcot and Swindon. It is a ‘passive crossing’ meaning users must look both ways for approaching trains before deciding to safely cross the railway.

Richard Pedley, Network Rail’s Western route level crossing manager, described: “The footpath level crossing at Wantage Road is on a section of very high-speed line with around 200 trains per day. It is crucial that the level crossing is only used as a means of getting across the railway, and under no circumstances should people loiter, or play on crossings and put their lives at risk of being struck by a train.”

The CCTV at Wantage Road level crossing has recorded at least three similar incidents over the past month and Network Rail’s community safety team is working closely with the British Transport Police visiting local schools and communities, to educate children and their families on safe behavior near the railway.

Embedded Inspector Darren Burridge from British Transport Police warned: “We see hundreds of people taking risks on and around the railway every year, resulting in tragic consequences or life-changing injuries. Both outcomes are avoidable.

Other CCTV footage has also shown similar instances of groups of children deliberately misusing the level crossing including trespassing on the railway track itself, filming and photographing themselves in the middle of the track, and even one child performing tricks on their scooter whilst along the track.

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