Keeping everyone safe around the railway, every day.
Britain’s railways are some of the safest in Europe. Network Rail believes that outstanding business performance and outstanding safety performance go hand-in-hand. Essential to this vision is a culture in which everyone working on the railway makes safety their number one priority every day.
We dedicate significant resource to keeping passengers, the workforce and communities safe, and work hard to maintain this leading position. We are also committed to informing school children about the dangers and consequences around the railway. The rapid growth of Great Britain’s rail network planned in coming years intensifies the safety risks and challenges. Currently, disruption to train services costs £33 million every year and service delays due to individuals attempting to take their own lives stand at around 5000 services each year. By helping communities to understand the importance of keeping safe and offering support to vulnerable people, there is the potential to reduce the chance of these disruptions and delays to rail services, enabling Network Rail to provide passengers with the reliable and punctual service expected of a world-class railway. With unauthorised people on the rail network currently accounting for almost all railway-induced fatalities – and people taking their own lives accounting for over two thirds – keeping communities safe remains at the heart of all expansion plans and ongoing management of railway infrastructure.
Why is keeping communities safe important to Network Rail?
As well as this, keeping communities safe helps Network Rail met the RSSB principles of ‘optimising the railway’ by enabling us to run an efficient and uninterrupted service.
What is Network Rail’s approach to keeping communities safe?
Network Rail’s community safety managers work alongside their colleagues in Performance and Route Crime teams to identify hotspots for trespassing enabling them to put action plans in place, also working alongside industry partners such as train operating companies, the British Transport Police and local councils to address local issues that affect people’s lives. Crucial to such plans are engaging with local communities and educating them around the dangers and how to stay safe near the railway with a large emphasis on school children (primary, secondary and college). Alongside this, Network Rail promotes and delivers suicide prevention training in partnership with the Samaritans, enabling employees to identify and support vulnerable people around the railway.
Trespassing continues to take place on the railway with members of the public intentionally trespassing which can lead to death, serious injury, penalties and local and network-wide train delays. One of the primary ways Network Rail keeps communities safe is through safety campaigns, sharing research, case studies and current practice, aimed at people most vulnerable to trespass: teenagers and those in their early 20s.
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