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Beware the bubble

Ever feel like you’re in a world of your own?

That private ‘bubble’, where you can be lost in your phone, your favourite song, or simply your thoughts. It might be a more dangerous place than you think.

While Britain’s railway is one of the safest in Europe, we still see hundreds of accidents each year across our stations and level crossings.

An increasing number of studies have shown that many of these accidents may be due to inattention – when we lose sight of what’s around us because our head’s elsewhere. When we’re distracted – like looking at a mobile phone – we develop tunnel vision, and miss even the most unexpected or unusual objects around us. And this could be fatal in the railway environment. 

So we’re calling on everyone to take care as they travel, wherever their attention wanders. And help us keep people safe, wherever they are on the railway.

We want everyone home safe every day. However, the railway is only as safe as the way it’s used by people and despite our strong track record, we still see too many accidents on our network every year. Most public and passenger injuries in stations are caused by slips, trips and falls, and the greatest risk at level crossings is pedestrians struck by trains (RSSB, 2020). In 2019, there were over 2500 incidents of level crossing misuse amongst pedestrians and over 1200 slips, trips and falls recorded in train stations.

In 2018 we undertook extensive research to understand public and passenger safety attitudes and behaviour towards the railway. The findings identified ‘significant proportions of the population are unaware of the dangers around the railway’ particularly at train stations and level crossings.

About this campaign

‘Beware the Bubble’ is Network Rail’s public safety campaign, which aims to combat distraction by encouraging people to be more present and mindful of their surroundings when using the railway.

The campaign has been developed based on one simple, psychological and relatable truth – we all live our lives ‘in a bubble’ but sometimes this can lead to injury or harm. We see far less of the world than we think we do, especially when we’re distracted by something.

So, take care as you travel, wherever your attention wanders. And help us keep you safe, wherever you are on the railway.

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