Hundreds of children from 15 schools across West Yorkshire have been getting involved in activities as part of Leeds Station Safety Week.
The activities, for nine to eleven-year olds, were run by Network Rail, Northern, British Transport Police and Leeds United Foundation from Monday, 21 to Thursday, 24 October. They focussed on safety issues when using the station, being on a train or near the railway.
The interactive sessions included information about how to prevent accidents by not running or riding bikes, scooters or skateboards in the station, as well as how to stay safe when using escalators. Pupils were also taught how dangerous it is to trespass on the tracks, particularly in areas with overhead line equipment, which carries 25,000 volts and would have devastating and life changing consequences for anyone coming into contact with it. The children also learnt about the impact unsafe behaviour near the railway could have on train drivers.
Vicki Beadle, Operations Risk Advisor for Network Rail, said: “Safety is Network Rail’s priority and we wanted to put on fun activities for children, whilst raising awareness of the dangers of messing about on or near the railway.
“Throughout Leeds Station Safety Week, the children learnt about many aspects of railway safety, ranging from the risks around running in stations to the dangers of trespassing near the track or overhead lines.
“We run the events each year and it was great to see so many pupils from schools across Leeds getting involved.”
Richard Isaac, Community and Sustainability Manager at Northern, said: “These events have been fantastic not just for the enthusiasm of the schools and children attending, but also for the message of rail safety which will go out across the region – reaching hundreds of schools.
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved for making the events such a success.”
Chief inspector Lorna McEwan, for British Transport Police, said: “We welcomed this opportunity to promote rail safety as part of Leeds Station Safety Week in partnership with Network Rail. It’s vital that our young people are aware of the dangers of misusing the railway and the consequences.
“All the children involved were really receptive to what our officers had to say and we hope they are now confident to speak to us as they pass through the station and are aware of the dangers of trespassing on or near the railway.”
Alan Scorfield, Leeds United Foundation CEO, said: “The coaches at the Leeds United Foundation had a great week working with so many different children at Leeds Station during their safety week. It is so important for young people to feel safe when they are in a railway station or near a track and that they understand the dangers that are involved.
“Working together with Network Rail and British Transport Police is really important in ensuring the right messages are being delivered to the children and making their visits to the station over the last week as interactive as possible was key in keeping them all focused and engaged.”