Updated over every
Tuesday night... Published online on Wednesday.
1 July 2009
AINSDALE TARGETED IN HARD HITTING LEVEL CROSSING SAFETY MESSAGE
BEING DRIVEN ACROSS EUROPE
Photograph by Patrick Trollope
Network Rail’s dedicated community safety team held a series of
‘Don’t Run the Risk’ awareness events at Britain’s most
misused level crossings in support of a European level crossing day
of action 25 June 2009. After reports from ourselves and other
people Ainsdale was one of the crossing placed in the UK that had
attention focused on it due to the numerous recorded instances of
vehicle and pedestrian misuse.
The team, together with the British Transport Police, handed out
leaflets that spell out the chilling truth that taking a chance at a
level crossing might be the last thing you do, and pose the
question:- "Would it kill you to wait?"
Wayne Menzies, Network Rail’s area manager Merseyside, warned of the
consequences of misusing the level crossing:- “The
crossing has full barriers that come down right across the road, but
they come down in such a way that vehicles and pedestrians part way
across don’t get trapped – that is part of the safety system. But it
also means that there is the opportunity for impatient people to
weave round the barriers. Even when they are fully down we get
pedestrians, both young and old, vaulting the barriers simply
because they want to save a few seconds.”
Inspector Gary Jones, who is co-ordinating the activities of British
Transport Police during the day of action, said:- “The
multi-agency action taken follows an extensive programme of
awareness and education carried out by local BTP officers. The
crossing at Ainsdale has been identified to us as problematic and we
have committed resources to educating road users and pedestrians
about how to use this crossing safely and in accordance with the
law. The Neighbourhood Policing Team has carried out surgeries
during which vehicle drivers and pedestrians were given safety
information and leaflets showing how level crossings should be used.
Police Community Support Officers have also visited many schools in
the area to give the children advice and to highlight the potential
dangers. Of course, there will always be a small minority who choose
to ignore the law and days of action such as this will specifically
target these people as well as reinforcing the message that level
crossings are safe when used in the correct manner.”
The awareness day, which aims to combat level crossing misuse and
highlight the dangers of ignoring warning signs and barriers has
been organised jointly by road and rail sector organisations and
government agencies across Europe and will see activities take place
across 23 countries.
Over 600 people die at level crossings across Europe each year. Last
year, 15 people lost their lives in Britain with more than 3,400
incidents of misuse. On average, more than three motorists a week
were involved in a near miss, where a train narrowly avoided hitting
them after ignoring warning signs or weaving round barriers. There
were 20 collisions between trains and motor vehicles for those that
didn’t beat the lights.
Whilst even one fatality is too many, the latest European fatality
statistics (2008)* reveal Switzerland, Germany, France, The
Netherlands and Spain have all tragically seen higher levels than
European Country/Total number of persons killed by level-crossing
accidents in 2008:-
Czech Republic 43
The Netherlands 18
Great Britain 15
Network Rail's hard hitting level crossing safety campaign
'Don’t Run the Risk' is beginning to have an impact on
people’s behaviour, according to research conducted for the company
by Millward Brown.
An online survey this spring found:-
· Before the recent advertising campaign (November-February) 55%
said they understood what not to do at level crossings, post the
campaign this rose to 67%.
· 54% of people said that the advert had already influenced their
behaviour at level crossings.
· 67% said that it would influence their behaviour at level
crossings in the future.
On the campaign research results, Mark Shaoul, head of marketing for
Network Rail commented:- "The impact we’ve had in driving
recognition of the safety campaign with the recent bursts of
activity has been phenomenal. We know that translating what people
say they will do into real action will be the litmus test, but these
results show us we are on the right track for helping to deliver.
This, along with many other activities that the business is working
on, will help to reduce level crossing incidents and needless
injuries and deaths."
Also did you know that last year, over 55 days of delays to trains
and passengers were caused by level crossing misuse, costing Network
Rail around £1.8million – money that could have been invested in the
railway? Also the real cost to the industry far exceeds this, as it
does not include actual damage to trains or tracks or staffing time
* The European fatality figures have been provided by International
Union of Railways who coordinated the 'European day of action'
25 June 2009, we had a phone interview with the St Helens based
band, The Lancashire Hotpots, thanks to thanks to or friends at
Manilla PR, before they headed
down to Glastonbury. If you missed our interview on our online radio
Liverpool Reporter or you want to
play it again, you can hear the full show now by selecting play
below. If you want to use your browser for other work, please
pop up player instead.
One thing you must
not miss this year is the The Lancashire Hotpots performance at the
Southport Arts Centre, that will be an all seated gig, on 11 July
2009. For more information about the band go to the bands
MySpace and to pick up a
copy of the groups latest CD "Pot Sound" go to:-
stars come out to play in Chorley
Events will play host to a star-studded fundraising ball at The
Pines Hotel, Chorley, on Thursday, 16 July 2009 to raise much needed
funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation®
UK. Make-A-Wish is the leading wishgranting charity that grants
magical wishes to children and young people fighting
Tickets cost £20 each or £25 for VIP tickets. VIP tickets include a
free DVD of the evening, canapés, use of the chocolate fountain and
hotel room discount as well as entry into prize draws. Tickets are
nolimitevents.co.uk, or call
Paul Johnson on:- 07892 657 465.
Lucky guests will rub shoulders with stars from Emmerdale, Waterloo
Road, Hollyoaks, Big Brother, X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, as
well as hear Darnel Swallow, from Big Brother 9, perform his new
single:- “Kisses Aren’t Contracts”.
The evening promises to be full of glitz and glamour with paparazzi
turning out to photograph guests on the red-carpet.
The evening’s funds will go towards granting more magical wishes for
children in the area, such as Chorley boy, 12 year old
Curtis Thomas, who is recovering from a heart transplant. In April,
Curtis had his wish granted to own an Apple – MacBook Air so he
could stay in touch with his school friends while he recovers.
This year, Make-A-Wish estimates that over 1,000 children will turn
to the charity for a wish. Make-A-Wish needs to raise over £5
million this year to grant all these wishes and can only do so with
the generous help of people in the UK and wonderful fundraising
events, such as these. To find out more please visit
Emma Kelly Audio Interview about the 2009 Merseyside
24 June 2009 we conducted an audio interview with Emma Kelly, who is
the head of PR for Merseyside Road Safety Partnership following up
on this years Scooterfest.
Emma also highlighted
plans for future campaigns and also gave very interesting
statistics. She also explained why they targeted young people aged
between 16 and 24 years with the is event. Sadly at this point, due
to time we are very sorry not to have any text copy of this report
has been made at this point.
click above to play the audio interview.
For further information on Scooterfest check out the