NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, May 19th, 2016.
A train was forced to make an emergency stop after a man put his life on the line by trespassing on the tracks for the sake of a £2 golf ball.
The near miss, which took place just after 2.30pm yesterday (Wednesday, 18 May) near Prestatyn railway station, left the driver in such distress he was unable to continue his duties.
Now, our officers are issuing an urgent safety warning for people to stay safe and stay off the tracks.
Sergeant Gemma Jones of British Transport Police said:
“Sadly, time after time, we receive reports of people trespassing on the railway, whether to take a shortcut or just out of curiosity. However, for someone to go onto the tracks just to retrieve a £2 golf ball is beyond comprehension.
“It is incredibly fortunate that, on this occasion, no one was injured – but the outcome could easily have been so different.
“The actions of individuals such as this results in delays to services, which then has an impact on everyone that uses the railway and can result in missed connections, late arrival for appointments or meetings, or less time spent at home with the family – not to mention significant cost implications for the train operators.
“This incident also had a major impact on the driver, who thought he was about to hit the person. He was so shaken up that he had to be taken off duty immediately and a relief driver was drafted in to take over the train.”
Sgt Jones added: “Trespassers may believe they can cross the tracks before a train comes. However, trains travel extremely fast and are often much quieter than people expect. All it takes is one accidental slip and the consequences could be catastrophic.
“As well as the obvious safety implications, trespass is also illegal. Anyone caught deliberately obstructing the railway or trespassing on the tracks and endangering people’s safety can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to prosecute you and put you before the courts, with the maximum penalty being life imprisonment.
“Our main concern, however, is keeping people safe. We are more interested in preventing instances of trespass and saving lives than enforcement, and I sincerely hope people heed this warning.
“We do not want to have to tell any family that their son or daughter will not be coming home. The few seconds saved by crossing the tracks could end up costing your life. Is it worth it?”
If you witness anyone trespassing on the railway, please call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016. In an emergency always dial 999