Railway trespass is at record high
At a time when a Hastings man was sentenced for endangering lives by throwing furniture on the railway line figures show that trespass on the railway is at its highest level since records began.
More than 8,000 people trespassed on railways across the UK in 2016 - the highest number since records began.
Network Rail and British Transport Police figures show an 11% rise in incidents to 8,265, compared with 2015.
Some 115 people have been killed on rail tracks over the past five years, with almost half of them aged under 25.
Network Rail and the police said taking a short cut was the most common reason given for trespassing, followed by thrill-seeking.
Trespassing incidents involving young people double during spring and summer compared with winter.
Network Rail’s head of public and passenger safety, Allan Spence, said: “Every year we see a huge rise in the number of people taking a risk on the rail network and it’s worrying that these numbers seem to be going up.
“Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks.
The dangers may not always be obvious but the electricity on the railway is always on and trains can travel up to 125mph, so even if they see you, they can’t stop in time.”