Warning of dangers of Metro lines

Extra Metro and ferry services are being laid on for the Great North Run
Extra Metro and ferry services are being laid on for the Great North Run

Youngsters are being warned about the dangers of playing near Metro lines during the holidays.

Officials at Nexus are encouraging parents and children to ‘Play safe – stay Safe’ as part of a new safety warning.

School holidays normally result in a rise in instances of trespass on the system, with parents being encouraged to warn youngsters about the dangers of venturing onto Metro tracks.

Nexus youth liaison officer, Deborah Rodenby, said: “The railway is not a playground.

“The reality is a risk of being hit by 1,500 volts of electricity.

“Metro trains travel at speeds of up to 50mph and mainline trains much faster – and a train cannot swerve to miss someone in its path.

“It is vital we educate young people of the importance of railway safety and how to act responsibly while they using public transport.”

Since April Nexus has spoken to more than 7,000 children to get across the safety message, covering issues of trespass, level crossing safety, the consequences of throwing stones at trains, good behaviour when travelling, respect for other passengers and the dangers of walking close to lines.

As well as warning young people about dangers of railways Nexus also stresses the need for good platform safety when children are out and about.

Safety at Metro level crossing is also a key message for young people.

In December 2014 Nexus successfully completed an £800,000 project to improve safety at Metro level crossings – including the introduction of warning lights for pedestrians.

Deborah said: “Young people also need to learn to treat level crossings with respect – by looking both ways, making sure they can hear an oncoming train and walking swiftly to the other side.

“Don’t get distracted by things like headphones or mobile phones. Respect level crossings and give them your full attention.

“All trains sound a horn as they approach crossings, which should act as a warning to anyone about to cross.”

She added: “Anyone who is caught trespassing can face a fine of up to £1,000.

“The message is quite clear – keep your children away from Metro tracks or face the consequences, one way or another.”

For more information go to www.nexus.org.uk/schools