Network Rail takes action to deter walkers from trespassing on Sleights railway bridge

19th August 2020

Network Rail has installed anti-trespass signs in Sleights to remind walkers not to trespass on Thistle Grove railway bridge, after 23 incidents have been caught on camera in the area since May.

The signs, which have been installed to deter people from using the railway bridge to get to the other side of the River Esk, warn them of the dangers of trespassing on the railway and remind them that they risk a fine of £1,000.

Network Rail is reminding people that the railway bridge is not safe for members of the public to access and it should be used by trained railway maintenance workers only. Those who do use it, or the two nearby private level crossings between Thistle Grove Farm and the footpath to Eskdaleside, are trespassing.

Anti-trespass signs have also been installed at both crossings to remind members of the public not to use them. Network Rail has sent out letters to local residents, reminding them of the dangers of trespassing on the railway, and footage from the cameras has been sent to British Transport Police.

Dawn Sweeting, Community Safety Manager for Network Rail, said: “We hope the new signs in Sleights deter people from trespassing on the railway and stop them using the bridge and the private level crossings.

“People who are illegally using the railway bridge, intentionally or not, as part of their walking route are putting themselves in danger and the consequences could be fatal or life changing.

“The railway bridge is not a public footpath. Those who ignore the warning signs and use it are trespassing and risk a fine of £1,000.”

Trespassing is illegal, extremely dangerous and can have life-changing or even fatal consequences. Railway lines are used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you should never anticipate when the next train is due. Trains travel at high speeds and they cannot stop quickly or swerve out of the way.

If you see someone trespassing, call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 to report it.

Image: Network Rail