OREANDA-NEWS. More than a quarter of people surveyed reported using their phone when catching or getting off a train and a third of people revealed they use their mobile while crossing a road. Worryingly, some of those surveyed admitted using their phone while crossing the railway.

While Britain still has the safest major rail network in Europe, level crossings are one of the biggest public safety risks on the railway. In the last five years there have been more than 20 incidents on level crossings involving young people? in Wales.  

Andrew Bound, route level crossing manager at Network Rail Wales, explains: “Many people are aware of the issue of mobile phone distraction for drivers, but it is very worrying that so many young adults admit to putting themselves at unnecessary risk by using their phone when crossing the railway.

“We are investing more than ?100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but we also need everyone who uses level crossings to do their bit too. By paying attention to the warnings at level crossings and avoiding distractions, we can all keep ourselves out of harm’s way.”

Network Rail volunteers are working with Arriva Trains Wales, the British Transport Police and Community Rail Partners to highlight the dangers of misusing the railway and reinforce safe behaviours at events hosted across Wales and the borders this week.

Rail Ambassadors and volunteers have hosted station-based events at Cardiff Central and Newport this week. Events are also planned at Wrexham station today (Wednesday 28 September) and Shrewsbury station tomorrow (Thursday 29 September).  Volunteers will also be raising awareness of level crossing safety at Cwmbach level crossing near Aberdare tomorrow (Thursday 29 September).

The team have also been engaging with young people at schools along the Cambrian line including Barmouth Primary School, as well as at schools in Llandudno, North Wales.

Tracey Young, community safety manager for Network Rail Wales, said: “As the railway continues to gets busier we must continue to work even harder to keep people safe and reminding them of the many dangers that exist on the railway.

“Many of those involved in the rail safety activities being hosted across Wales and the borders are volunteering their time and it’s great to see so many people passionately supporting rail safety and working to ensure that Britain remains the safest major railway in Europe.”

The Populus research on phone distraction also highlights 95 per cent of under 25 year olds own a smart phone and spend twice the amount of time on their mobile than the average user. One in three young adults admits they would be more aware of their surroundings if they ditched their phone for 24 hours. Most spend time checking social media (63%) and surfing the web (44%).