Belfast Telegraph

Translink in prosecution warning

Seventy-six people have faced action for safety breaches on Northern Ireland's railway network over the 12 months to June.

Trespassing on the line, ramming crossings or striking a bridge with a vehicle were among offences pursued by the transport provider.

Translink said more than £9,000 was levied in fines.

Mal McGreevy, in charge of rail at Translink, said: "We are reminding motorists and pedestrians that CCTV is in operation at stations, railway crossings and on all trains.

"These monitor inappropriate behavior and, in an effort to keep everyone safe, Translink will prosecute anyone caught damaging property, trespassing or endangering others."

In the year to June, Translink has taken action against 76 people over 70 safety-related incidents along the rail network, with fines worth more than £9,000 imposed. Most offenders were dealt with through the courts (45) and represented almost half of all prosecutions made by the company over the past 12 months.

The closure of the rail line for track upgrade works between Coleraine and Londonderry for eight months until the end of March helped reduce figures, as the majority of level crossing misuse incidents by motorists and private crossing users took place on that stretch of track, the organisation said.

Since the line reopened, there have been 16 incidents of motorists attempting to beat the barrier at Castlerock, Co Derry, and all may face prosecution.

In July it was revealed that since the beginning of June, when schools started breaking up for summer holidays, Translink recorded 96 incidents of trespassing by pedestrians on the rail network.

A member of public was reported by a resident close to tracks in Whitehead, a group of five youths were spotted under a bridge at Finaghy and a trespasser was removed from the line at Greenisland.

Translink changed its timetable at the beginning of January to increase frequency and reopened the Coleraine-Londonderry line, meaning up to 60 more services operated each week than this time last year.

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