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Issue:- 10 May  2012

A new rail video aim to cut short trespass and not lives

3 people who trespassed on the railway on Merseyside last year were fatally injured, according to Network Rail. There were other fatalities in Carnforth, Codsall and Winson Green. To highlight the problems of trespass, the company has teamed up with British and World 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene to warn young men about the dangers of taking a short cut across the tracks. Nationally, 88% of accidental trespass fatalities in the last 10 years were male, with over a 3rd aged 18 to 25. Dai appears in an online video, part of a new campaign called:- "Track Tests". He is given a realistic but unusual running test; across the tracks; but it's not as easy as it seems, even for a top athlete at the peak of his condition. It's dark, there's grease on the line, there are unexpected trip hazards and it's raining. The video aims to illustrate that if a fit, agile athlete used to leaping high hurdles at speed, is unable to get out of the way of a train travelling at 80mph, then you won't either. It will be part of a new Facebook page and online/mobile advertising campaign over the next 4 weeks.

Dai Greene explained why he was keen to get involved with this new campaign:- "Day in day out, I train hard to make sure I am as quick as I can be. On the running track it's important that my reactions are lightning fast but on the train track - during filming; that didn't count for much. The experience has brought to life just how many dangers there are on the rail tracks; most of which I knew nothing about. I hope that this film really helps Network Rail to show people that taking the risk is never worth it."

Jo Kaye, Network Rail's route managing director, said Dai is the right man to get across the safety messages:- "We know a lot of young men think that taking a shortcut isn't really a risk, that they can get out of the way of any train, but the fatality figures show they are wrong. Dai is one of the most fit and agile athletes in the world, someone that we know young men admire, particularly with the 2012 Games so close. His message and ours is simple; if he can't survive the shortcut, you won't either; shortcuts cut short lives."

Did you know that:-

► Nationally, there were 445 recorded near misses between trespassers and trains with reports of people crossing the tracks to the opposite platform upon realising their train was leaving from there, jumping down to retrieve phones or wallets, walking alongside the tracks as a shortcut home.

► Nationally, from 01/04/2011 to 31/03/2012 there were 49 accidental trespass fatalities (excluding suicides and fatalities at level crossings).

► In the London North Western route, which covers the lines out of London Euston to the Scottish border, Marylebone to Birmingham and covers the major conurbations of the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, 94 people who trespassed on the railway were involved in a near miss with a train.

► There were 6 fatalities on the route:- 1 each in Carnforth, (Lancs), Winson Green (Birmingham), Codsall (Staffs), and 3 on Merseyside

From 01/04/2001 to 31/03/2011 (latest full year results)

► The peak ages for trespass fatalities are the late teens and the early twenties.

► The percentage of male trespass fatalities is disproportionately high compared to their level in the overall population. Although males make up just under 50% of the total population, they have accounted for 88% of trespass fatalities over the past 10 years.

► In more than half of incidents, the reason for the trespass is not known or not identified. In those events where the motivation for the trespass is identifiable, the most common reason (37%) is for the purposes of taking a short cut. Other reasons where the trespass is a means to an end include retrieving property, walking dogs, fare evasion, and committing criminal damage or graffiti.

► Over the past 10 years, the greatest number of trespasser fatalities has occurred on a Saturday. The most common time (on any day) for the fatality to occur for those aged 16 to 30 is from 10pm to 2:00am. From 2001 to 2011 there were 205 fatalities in this age group. 75 were during this time period (37%).

The figures within some of the report are subject to alteration following coroners' inquests. All trespass statistics provided by RSSB who are the rail industry body in the UK.

Safety boost in £2.7m M6 barrier project

ROAD user take note... A £2.74m Highways Agency project to boost safety along the M6 in Greater Manchester will get underway from Monday, 14 May 2012. The Preparatory work to install a new section of concrete safety barrier around Junction 27 of the motorway, at Standish, will start with resurfacing and drainage improvements in the hard shoulder.

The project will extend improvements and safety benefits delivered in 2 schemes between Junction 26 of the motorway at Orrell Interchange and Junction 27 in 2010, when lighting and verge safety barrier improvements were delivered alongside the installation of a concrete central reservation barrier.

This year's project, which should be completed by Thursday, 23 August 2012, will extend the barrier between White Hill Footbridge and Crow Orchard Road South through Junction 27.

Highways Agency project sponsor Jakub Malaj, said:- "Extending the concrete barrier along this section of the M6 will make the motorway even safer for drivers. Concrete barriers are stronger and more robust than steel barriers, reducing the risk of vehicles involved in accidents crossing from one side of the motorway to the other and improving the safety of road users and road workers. The barriers are also unlikely to require repairs after vehicle impact. Concrete barriers also require less maintenance so this scheme will also provide more reliable journeys for motorways users by reducing the need for lane and carriageway closures for repairs. We have worked hard to design a project that can also be delivered in a way which minimises inconvenience to drivers and the traffic will be able to use the motorway at all times."

The improvements will be delivered in two phases with a month of work strengthening the hard shoulder and modifying the drainage. This work will primarily be completed overnight between 8pm and 5am with one lane closed in each direction of the motorway.

The 2nd phase of the project will take place between Friday, 15 June 2012 and Thursday, 23 August 2012, and will require around the clock closure of lane 3 in each direction of the motorway, narrowed lanes, some hard shoulder running and a 50mph speed limit. The hard shoulder will be used as an additional running lane to ensure three lanes of carriageway will be maintained in each direction.

Work will take place around the clock with further lane closures overnight; although the motorway will remain open at all times. Installation and removal of traffic management for the roadworks at the beginning and end of the second phase of the work will require the northbound exit and southbound access slip roads to be closed overnight. Clearly-signed diversions will be in place, using the motorway itself.

Titanic all set for a show on the Mersey

The cast of WKLOS performing Titanic – The Musical.

TITANIC - the Musical is all set to take to the waves as members of the West Kirby Light Opera Society take their forthcoming production on board the World Famous Mersey Ferry and help raise money for Calder Kids.

Come and join Mr Ismay, Mr Andrews and Captain Smith as they congratulate each other on being the owner, designer and captain of "The Largest Floating Object" in the world. There will be lots of singing, dancing and celebrating by the passengers and crew of the Titanic as they travel on the "Ship of Dreams".

The "Titanic" cruises will be departing from Liverpool Pier Head Ferry Terminal at 1pm and 2pm on Saturday, 19 May 2012 with no additional charges, normal River Explorer Cruise prices apply.

The West Kirby Light Opera Society's production of Titanic - The Musical will be staged at The Liverpool Empire from 5 June 2012 to 9 June 2012. Contact:- for more information or telephone WKLOS on:- 0151 342 2143.

Merseytravel's charity of the year for 2012 is Calder Kids, a local charity who offer a range of services for children and young people with disabilities, including free play, youth and leisure activities, outreach and after-school services.

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