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Majority of rail passengers making a dash for doors – even as they are closing

Trade unions have raised concerns about the safety implications of not having guards on trains departing platforms.

The majority of rail passengers try to get on and off trains even when the doors are about to close, new figures show.

Seven out of 10 (70%) travellers would still attempt to board a train despite the door alarm sounding and more than half (57%) would try to enter a carriage just before the doors start to close, according to research by safety body the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).

Several passengers have been injured after being trapped in doors and dragged by trains in recent years.

(Michael Walter/PA)

A 60-year-old woman suffered head, back and hand injuries in an incident at Hayes and Harlington station in west London in July 2015.

She was dragged for 19 metres along the platform when her hand became trapped in the door.

Similar incidents have occurred in West Wickham, south London in April 2015, Newcastle Central in June 2013 and on the Tyne and Wear Metro in Jarrow in April 2012.

The rail industry is examining how to increase awareness of the issue.

(Michael Walter/PA)

RSSB lead human factors specialist, Paul Leach, said: “Train travel is really safe, but it’s vital that passengers aren’t tempted to make a dash for the doors no matter how rushed they are.

“The best way to avoid the risk of a nasty accident is to keep back from the edge and not try to get on or off once the door alarm starts to sound.

“Despite their appearance, train doors are not like lift doors and won’t necessarily re-open if something is trapped in them.

Sixty-nine passengers were interviewed by the RSSB at mainline stations across Britain for the study.

There were 1,515 incident on platform edges at railway stations in 2015/16.

Trade unions have raised concerns about the safety implications of not having guards on trains departing platforms, leading to strikes across the country.

The RSSB published research in July which it claimed showed that safety levels are “as good for passengers who board and alight from trains without a guard being present as they are for those using other services”.

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