Young boy almost hit by train in Topsham

By Will Goddard

16th Nov 2022 | Local News

Toffles foot crossing in Topsham (Network Rail)
Toffles foot crossing in Topsham (Network Rail)

Network Rail and the British Transport Police have issued a safety warning after several incidents of "misuse" at a foot crossing over the railway line in Topsham in recent weeks.

One incident saw a boy, believed to be around six years old, get his foot stuck after playing on the Toffles crossing with another boy on their bicycles.

A member of the public was able to free his foot and get him out of the way of an oncoming train - which had to use its emergency brakes.

Network Rail said that most of the seven near-misses this year have involved people being either "distracted or not paying attention to the safety instructions of stop, look and listen".

The rail company will soon install gates either side of the railway line to remind people that they need to stay alert when using the foot crossing. 

Alison Kramer, Network Rail community safety manager, said: "The railway is a very dangerous place and level crossings are not playgrounds. Incidents of level crossing misuse can lead to life-changing injuries and in the worst-case scenario, loss of life. 

"The irresponsible behaviour of these two young boys and of other children deliberately misusing this level crossing is really disappointing when we work so hard to educate parents and young people on how to behave safely when near the railway. 

"If you're distracted, you won't notice an approaching train until it's too late, so make sure you stay alert at all times when near the railway." 

The British Transport Police has asked anyone who witnesses an incident to report it by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.


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