Brine Leas girls on railway in Nantwich

A headteacher has warned Nantwich parents after school pupils were pictured walking down the main railway line as a short-cut to and from Brine Leas School.

These images show youngsters walking along the main Shrewsbury to Manchester line close to Stapeley Terrace in Nantwich.

In one, the girl on the left appears to stumble on the stones towards the track itself.

And witnesses say this is a regular occurrence, with groups of girls and boys often spotted walking down the middle of the track itself.

Anyone caught on the rail line can be prosecuted by Network Rail and heavily fined.

One witness who lives close to the tracks said he sees pupils walking on the line almost every school day.

“Network Rail have made the trains honk the horn at any time of day because of this idiocy,” he said.

“It’s not always the same kids. I’ve even seen some walking down the centre of the track!

“It’s always Brine Leas pupils from the uniform they have on. This is seriously dangerous and irresponsible.”

We’ve masked the identity of the pupils but Brine Leas School has vowed to work with the police and Network Rail to stop pupils putting their lives in danger.

Horrified Brine Leas headteacher Andrew Cliffe vowed to take action.

He told Nantwich News: “Thank you for alerting us to this problem.

“We will involve families and the police in addressing this very dangerous and reckless practice.”

Mr Cliffe has now contacted all parents.

He added: “There is no public right of way alongside of the railway line in Nantwich and it is putting lives at risk.

“We will try to discover who is walking along the tracks and, obviously, if we find out specific names we will let the relevant parents know. I will also be informing the police so that they are aware of this practice.”

Five years ago, Nantwich dad Scott Hargreaves suffered horrific injuries when he stumbled and fell on the same stretch of track walking home from a night out.

He knocked himself out after falling, and a late night train was unable to stop in time. Scott lost an arm and a leg in the accident.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “We can’t express enough the danger you are putting yourself in if you choose to take a risk on the railway.

“It’s not a bit of harmless fun, there is serious risk of death.

“We work closely with the British Transport Police on the issue of trespass and we regularly go into schools to educate young people on the dangers.

“The railway is not a playground and should not be used as a short cut. If you see anybody trespassing on the railway, please report it to the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016.”

And a spokesman for the British Transport Police said: “The risks of trespassing onto the tracks cannot be overstated. Trains travel at incredibly high speeds, someone is putting their life in risk when the walk on the railway line.

“Not only is trespassing incredibly dangerous, it is also illegal and officers will work to prosecute offenders.

“If anyone ever witnesses someone trespassing, they can report it to BTP by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency dial 999.”

More information on trespass can be found at http://www.btp.police.uk/about_us/our_campaigns/trespass.aspx

Brine Leas girls on railway in Nantwich

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