/ Illegal to cross rail tracks
This includes the crossing at the Drummochtar Hills where the path goes to the rail tracks and continues on the other side!!!
Guy from the the transport police says that walkers will have to replan their routes if a rail track is in the way!
Crazy. Nobody there to enforce the law though!
I didn't hear the item, but hasn't walking along/across the tracks always been illegal?
For the W Drumochtar hills, I've always parked at NN632756 and used the underpass at NN633750; this is only a few hundred metres/yards of extra distance.
> This includes the crossing at the Drummochtar Hills where the path goes to the rail tracks and continues on the other side!!!
> Guy from the the transport police says that walkers will have to replan their routes if a rail track is in the way!
WTF? It is a criminal offence to trespass on the railway. This is not something new, what advice do you expect BTP to give? Fatalities occur every year, not only is it tragic for the casualties family etc, but also for the driver and those that have to deal with the aftermath.
In many area's it is virtually impossible to police. Largely personal choice, however, if you are going to do it be very, very careful.
So how does that square with the crossings that have been used by walkers for years?
It is important to distinguish between trespass on a railway and the use of an accommodation crossing. The former has always been a no no. If they are pushing for greater restrictions on level crossing use then they are a threat!
This needs to be taken seriously as I can easily see some petty wee clipboard organising a raid on Drumochter one fine Saturday morning. They know where the hills are.
In case things get really heavy - there are often sheep creeps and other ways under or over the tracks. Not sure about the Highland Railway at Drumochter (Can they do you for using the RoW down Loch Garry?) but the West Highland Railway and Kyle Line are well provided for, and I recently made good use of a low tunnel under the Kyle Line to get onto Moruisg.
Do you have a source for this? Was it on GMS? The network rail website still lists footpath crossings as a legitimate type of level crossing.
Seems strange , if there is a 'crossing' it seems illogical to them make it illegal to use it.
I can well understand just crossing a line, outwith a marked crossing, there is going to be a lot of confusion over this , if what you have heard is true.
Just ignore the noises that come from that direction every so often. They will be happy they've raised the issue and we can nod and continue as before.
Not sure I'd want to feature in a photo like that if the Police are taking a genuine interest...
It was more for amusement than taking seriously. Down now. Happy?
Chill... I was being light hearted as well to an extent, doesn't always come across on Web forums, that's the trouble :)
But quite genuinely - I have heard of BTP prosecuting people from photos of that nature.
What about going along rail tracks? ;-)
> So how does that square with the crossings that have been used by walkers for years?
Same as always. If you use yours eyes and brains to cross a railway track in the middle of nowhere and don't get hit by a train then you'll be OK.
The article on the MCoS site is interesting - I wonder why the BTP were specifically there rather than on any of the other load of crossings in rural Scotland?
If you really must insist on ignoring the law and wandering about on the line, do at least keep a good look out. Train drivers can not take avoiding action. So many of the trespassers I have nearly run down over the years don't seem to have grasped the concept that a train may come along. I've been lucky enough to have avoided killing any people in my twenty years as a driver but have had plenty of heart stopping near misses on the rural routes I work in Cumbria. Killing medium sized mammals such as roe deer (a fairly regular occurance) is unpleasant enough. I'd rather not find out what it's like to kill people.
This has all the makings of an awareness campaign. Next step will be a presence at one of the usual hill crossings (there are actually very few such places, so they can focus). It may be Saturday or a bit later, but the Transport Police will probably be at Lochay or Drumochter soon. Worth having a good look around before setting off - even if using the crossings, which you will be doing to get to the Drumochter ridge.
The big worry is the accommodation crossings. The situation with these is uncertain, and if they go for these then we have a problem. I saw an article in today's Scotsman where a few problem areas were mentioned. One was Loch Awe. Now that is probably a reference to Kilchurn Castle which was one of the big hotspots during the attempt in 2004 to close all crossings.
Someone was nabbed – and charged, I think – while crossing the line north of Ben Lui just two or three months ago, so there are people looking out for this. Re crossing lines versus walking along or right beside them, on occasion I’ve done the former but the latter just seems bonkers. There have been accidents of that sort, with trains – particularly the modern quiet ones – sneaking up behind walkers who don’t hear them because of wind / rain / hood up. A president of the SMC died this way on Rannoch Moor I believe. A good friend of mine – who thankfully survived shaken but unscathed – once had to dive sideways into the heather at the last gasp on the same stretch.
I guess I’m always likely to be a non-walker along lines due to being the son of a railwayman – it was drummed into me at an early age. Mind you, one of my most lingering and memorable childhood experiences was walking the half-mile length of Milford tunnel near Duffield. But the line was completely closed for the day and my dad was the local track inspector…
That's the example that was brought up and discussed...
> Do you have a source for this? Was it on GMS? The network rail website still lists footpath crossings as a legitimate type of level crossing.
It was on Radio Scotland!
> It was on Radio Scotland!
Sometimes people come on the radio and say things which aren't true. It's called ly-ing. It's a vital part of pol-it-icks.
Thanks, but I got that bit. I was just wondering which programme (i.e. was it good morning Scotland). I thought I could listen to the relevant bit on the iplayer if I knew roughly when it was.
> Thanks, but I got that bit. I was just wondering which programme (i.e. was it good morning Scotland). I thought I could listen to the relevant bit on the iplayer if I knew roughly when it was.
Whichever show is on at 8am... I flick between Radio 4 and Radio Scotland...
Programme is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01pdx7w/Good_Morning_Scotland_08_01_2013/
From about 2.20.00 onwards.
The laws relating to railway crossing (in Scotland and the rest of the UK) have been getting a review over the last few years.
"There are between 7500 and 8000 level crossings in Great Britain. The current law on crossings is complex, outdated and difficult to access.
The project engages a wide range of areas of the law: railways, highways, health and safety, land, planning, crime, and disability discrimination. The aim is to make recommendations with a view to reforming the framework so that it is more coherent, accessible and up-to-date, allowing for better regulation and, potentially, the reduction of risk."
Recommendations and draft Bill should be appearing soon:
Thanks for that Dan...
The CPS guidance on prosecutions in England and Wales advises prosecutors:
I"n assessing the public interest in taking criminal proceedings the circumstances of each case should be considered carefully. In particular:
the age of the offender
the risk of injury to himself or others
the likelihood of disruption to rail services.
Those factors should be weighed together with the broader public interest factors set out above."
Of course this does not apply in Scotland but the procurator fiscal may take a similar view
"British Transport Police records thousands of incidents of trespassing every year and many people have been seriously injured, or even killed. The resulting effect on families, train drivers and passengers can be devastating."
Many people? I might like to see the statistics for people hit by trains on rural Scottish lines.
Trespassing along the line is stupid. Crossing the line should be little different to crossing the road, probably even safer, due to the low volume of traffic. The additional risk of trips on track fixtures needs to be taken into consideration.
Just use your brain and check the line is clear before you cross, and cross the track smartly and carefully, would be my advice.
I wonder if this stance has anything to do with this:
I am reminded of the recent programme about cyclists on the roads, and the cement company that killed one cyclist a year. I don't think they were hit with the same sort of fine. In fact, I don't think they suffered any penalty at all, and it was only one mother's efforts that made them take action.
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