• Latest data shows a 28% increase in anti-social behaviour at stations on Core Valley Lines so far this year
  • Transport for Wales is warning of the increased dangers of trespassing and anti-social behaviour at stations
  • Abercynon has the highest percentage of anti-social behaviours of all stations on the Core Valley Lines

CARDIFF (WALES), 26th June 2024: This Rail Safety Week, Transport for Wales has issued a stark warning about the increased dangers of trespassing and antisocial behaviour amid the ongoing electrification of South Wales’ Core Valley Lines1, as it finds that instances of anti-social behaviour are on the rise this year.

While the latest data from Transport for Wales shows a 38% reduction in trespassing incidents so far this year compared with the same time period in 2023, incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) at stations along the Core Valley Lines have surged by 28% over the same period2.

Nearly two-thirds of instances of anti-social behaviour (73%) on Core Valley Lines this year have involved individuals under the age of 17 while over a third (37%) of trespassing incidents involved young people too.

Transport for Wales has warned that the risk of death or serious injury for those who trespass on rail tracks or carry out anti-social behaviour has increased significantly since the introduction of electrified Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) went live for the South Wales Metro, carrying 25,000 volts of electricity. Contact with the overhead lines has a one in 10 survival rate and the heat generated from the shock can reach temperatures of over 3,000 degrees.

In the last two years there have been almost 1,000 recorded3 incidents of trespassing and antisocial behaviour on the Core Valleys Lines.

Antisocial behaviours reported in the last two years include individuals throwing stones at trains and across the tracks, items being dropped and collected from the track, as well as rugby balls and footballs being kicked on station platforms.

So far in 20244, Abercynon and Porth have seen the most cases of ASB (11% each) across Core Valley Line stations closely followed by Quakers Yard (9%).

Highest instances of anti-social behaviour (ASB) on Core Valley Lines in 2024 so far
Station Percentage
Abercynon 11%
Porth 11%
Quakers Yard 9%
Aberdare 7%
Merthyr 7%
Mountain Ash 7%

Lois Park, Head of Community and Stakeholder Engagement at TfW explains: “While it’s encouraging to see a declining trend in reported trespassing incidents, the introduction of OLE marks the need for continued caution. Worryingly, there seems to be more and more school-aged children trespassing when the stakes are higher than ever. Everyone, no matter their age, needs to be aware of the dangers. Even just one incident of trespassing could be fatal.

“However, it’s not just trespassing that is unsafe. Electricity from OLE can jump, and the risk of electrocution without direct contact is significantly higher. This means anti-social activities that people may not have deemed as ‘dangerous’ before can now have even more serious, potentially life-threatening consequences.

“People should stay at least 2.75 metres away from OLE at all times and take extra care when carrying objects such as umbrellas, helium balloons and fishing rods.”

The introduction of OLE promises more sustainable and efficient trains but poses new dangers, meaning the risks associated with ASB have significantly increased.

Transport for Wales has been taking additional measures to improve safety and security around rail tracks, with new fencing and extended safety barriers being added to key areas as well as drones monitoring for incidents of trespassing and antisocial behaviours. However, numbers of cable theft and damage are still increasing, showing that people are still trespassing on the tracks despite the added dangers.

On average, train stations in South Wales have seen more cases of trespassing in 20245 so far than the rest of the country, with Cardiff Central station having the highest percentage (11%).

Highest instances of trespassing on Core Valley Lines in 2024 so far
Station Percentage
Cardiff Central 11%
Abercynon 7%
Caerphilly 7%
Cardiff Queen Street 7%

Anyone witnessing suspicious behaviour on tracks is urged to report it immediately to the British Transport Police at 0800 40 50 40 or by texting 61016. In emergencies, dial 999 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously at 0800 555 111.

For more information visit Overhead Line Equipment FAQs | Transport for Wales (tfw.wales)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.