PEOPLE are playing dice with death on the Airedale railway line.
Trespassing incidents have skyrocketed since the lockdown began, railroad bosses have revealed.
There have been eight trespass reports along the road in the past two months.
Network Rail describes the situation as “absolutely shocking” and warns that the culprits are putting their lives in danger – while acting illegally.
Incidents on the Airedale line included three children spotted along the tracks near Cononley station, a teenager entering near Skipton station and a youngster walking the lines from a platform in Shipley.
The upsurge in incidents was reflected across Yorkshire, with 79 reported in the same period.
Dawn Sweeting, Community Safety Manager at Network Rail, said: âThese trespassing incidents on the Airedale line are absolutely shocking and show that too many people are ignoring the warning signs and putting themselves in danger.
âWe have seen a worrying number of incidents across Yorkshire since the lockdown began which could have had tragic consequences.
âIt is never safe to get on the tracks.
âThe lines are in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you can never anticipate the arrival of the next train. In addition to passenger services, freight trains run on the network to transport food, medicine and fuel across the country.
âTrains run at high speed and cannot stop quickly or get out of the way.
âAnd deadly 25,000 volts run through overhead cables, which are used to power some trains. This equipment is always on, even when there are no trains around.
âEveryone loses when someone gets on the rails. ”
Keighley Central District Councilor Zafar Ali raised the issue of the trespassing on the Airedale railway line two years ago when a man was struck by a train on the railroad tracks near Hard Ings Road. He was seriously injured, but survived.
The man had entered the runway through a broken fence.
“These new figures are quite alarming,” said Cllr Ali.
âI reinforce the message that people should not encroach on the railways. They are putting themselves in danger but also potentially putting even more pressure on our NHS staff, who are already working hard due to the current crisis.
“However, I think Network Rail should also be looking to see if there is more it could do to prevent and deter people from going on the tracks.”
Anyone who sees an intrusion on the tracks is asked to call 0800 40 50 40 or 999, or send an SMS to 61016.