Parents are being urged to speak to their children as alarming new figures reveal youngsters are twice as likely to trespass on the tracks over summer, compared with winter.
Longer evenings, coupled with the start of the holidays, spell danger for Britain’s youth as UK statistics show trespass doubles in August compared to December.
In Lancaster, between 2013 and 2015 there were 41 trespass incidents.
In 2013, there were 309 minutes delay due to trespass incidents, which leapt to 6144 minutes delay in 2014, dropping again to 342 minutes delay in 2015.
In 2015, there were 270 reports of trespass across the region during the summer, resulting in 12,399 minutes of delays to passengers. This summer, British Transport Police and Network Rail are urging parents to warn their children of the dangers of playing on the tracks.
Over the past 10 years, almost 170 young people in the UK have lost their lives after trespassing on the railway.
The data shows that just under half of those killed are under the age of 25. Nick Jordan, community safety manager for Network Rail, said: “We are urging parents to remind their children that if they are on the railway, they are on dangerous ground.
“It may seem like a good idea to take a shortcut, or like fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also dangerous. Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks.
“As the railway gets busier and we electrify more lines to improve services, we must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist.
“Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or death.”
l 72% of all trespassers who died over the last 10 years were struck by a train
l Another 17% were electrocuted
l The others fell from structures or trains.