Christmas came early for festive travellers today as they were greeted by a merry band of Network Rail volunteers who carried their luggage and heavy bags for them.
Tired and worn-out passengers were able to hand over presents, suitcases and shopping bags to a bunch of helpers from the station, who helped manoeuvre the belongings from the ticket barriers to trains using luggage trolleys and avoiding the stairs and escalators.
As well as spreading Christmas cheer, this ‘Festive Fetch’ highlights a serious safety issue at the station and raises awareness of the dangers of taking luggage on stairs and escalators, as well as rushing through the station.
Since 2016, there have been 100 reported injuries to members of the public at the station, with over a third of these due struggling with bags or rushing through the station. Passengers are urged to take baggage in the lifts instead or seek assistance from additional station staff who are ready to help carry bags throughout December.
Network Rail is also advising passengers to allow plenty of time for their journeys as the station will be busy with people travelling to and from Leeds for the Christmas break. Last year saw over one million people pass through the station in the week leading up to Christmas.
Vinny Burke, Leeds Station Manager, said: “Christmas is a great time of the year and today’s ‘Festive Fetch’ is a bit of fun but it also highlights a serious issue. We see too many needless injuries due to taking multiple items of luggage on escalators and stairs and rushing through the station.
“A trip to A&E isn’t a Christmas present which anyone wants. The lifts are provided to keep you safe and we urge you to use them, as well as allow plenty of time for your journey.”