Two Fife towns 'appalling' railway trespass figures highlighted in new campaign
Kirkcaldy and Burntisland have been identified as some of the worst locations in Scotland for people trespassing on the railway tracks - and putting their lives at risk.
New figures show that there have been more than 30 incidents of trespassing onto the railway tracks in just the last 12 months.
Now a new summer campaign has been launched to warn of the dangers.
“Shattered lives” has been triggered by Scotland’s Railway and British Transport Police.
It warns of the dangers of trespassing on the railway where making the wrong choice could lead to devastating consequences for individuals, their friends and family.
Every year numerous trespass incidents are recorded across the rail network.
Often seen as a youth problem, 75% of trespassers are in fact adults. In the last three years, more than 150 adults have either been seriously injured or lost their lives as a result of trespassing.
A survey also revealed that a third of British adults are prepared to risk life and limb to retrieve an everyday object such as their mobile phone or wallet from the track despite being fully aware of the dangers.
Liam Sumpter, route director, Scotland’s Railway, said: “These figures both upset and shock me. That so many people are willing to risk life and limb by trespassing on the railway just for a short cut or to retrieve an everyday object is of real concern.
“Trespassers seem to recognise that the tracks can be dangerous but for some reason think it is okay to risk their own personal safety.
“Every time someone strays onto the tracks they are placing themselves at risk of serious, life-changing injury or worse.
“The effects of trespass can be devastating, not only for the adult or child in question, but their loved ones and the wider community.
He added: “We want everyone to know and understand that stepping on the track shatters lives. Please don’t take risks. Don’t leave the people around you to pick up the pieces.”
Scotland’s Railway is also teaming up with the Scottish Football Association to deliver rail safety sessions with local youth teams in the area as part of its summer coaching programme, to highlight the dangers and consequences of trespassing on the railway.