Network Rail – along with East Midlands Railway, Cross Country and British Transport Police – has joined forces with passengers and people in South Wigston as part of a scheme to tackle trespass and vandalism.
Teams were at South Wigston station today (Friday 20 August) to speak to passengers about their concerns and find out what improvements they would like to see to brighten it up. They also posted information to people who live near the railway, inviting them to share their views.
The community drop-in session was part of ongoing work to prevent trespass and vandalism on the railway.
Six trespass incidents have been reported in South Wigston between April and July this year. Trespassing on the railway is extremely dangerous and can lead to life changing injuries or even fatal consequences.
Throughout the day, volunteer Station Adopters spoke to passengers about Network Rail and BTP’s hard-hitting trespass campaign, You vs Train.
Work was also carried out to replace signs at the station, remove litter on the station bridge and platforms and clean up rubbish which had been dumped near the tracks.
As well as being illegal, vandalism is unpleasant for passengers and people in the community. Dumping rubbish near the railway or deliberately throwing items onto the track can be dangerous or cause major disruption to train services. Clearing it also costs millions of pounds every year, which could have been invested in improving the railway for passengers.
Louise Tilly, Operations Projects Manager for Network Rail, said: “We want people in South Wigston to have their say on how we can make improvements to brighten up the station – to help prevent vandalism, make it more welcoming for the community and make sure passengers can travel with confidence.
“We’re also continuing to warn people of the dangers of trespassing and the devastating consequences stepping onto the tracks can have for the individual, their friends and family and the wider community.”
Donna Adams, Community Engagement Manager for EMR, said: “We are delighted to be working with Network Rail, CrossCountry and the BTP to help prevent vandalism and prevent trespassing on the railway.
“The station adoption group at South Wigston has only been in place since early Summer 2021, and in that short space of time we can already see that their sense of community is going to make a big difference to the people that travel through the station.”
A BTP spokesperson said: “Vandalism is not a victimless crime, it costs the rail industry millions of pounds every year which is in turn passed down to passengers. If you see someone trespassing on or vandalising the railway, please report it to us by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency always call 999.”