Initiative to prevent railway deaths could be extended to other areas (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Initiative to prevent deaths at Northallerton railway station could be extended to other areas
AN initiative designed to prevent further deaths at a railway station on the busy East Coast Main Line could be extended to other parts of the country.
British Transport Police (BTP) and the Samaritans are working with local residents in a bid to to try to deter anyone from jumping onto the tracks at Northallerton railway station - where there have been four deaths in the past 18 months.
Just two weeks ago, 17-year-old Jake Pirie, from Thornton Steward, near Leyburn, was killed after he was hit by a high speed train as it went through the station.
Station Watch is the brainchild of Sgt Jo Christon of the British Transport Police and interest in the scheme is spereading - with at least two other areas looking to copy it.
She said: ”We wanted to work together with the Samaritans, station staff and local residents, to form a partnership so the station feels a safer place and anyone who is troubled or has problems can see help is at hand.
"Residents can be our eyes and ears so if there are any problems they can contact us immediately. It would be ideal to have these schemes all over the country.”
Posters have been put up around the station, regular patrols are mounted with the Samaritans handing out cards and talking to passengers. Warning markings have also been painted along the platform edges.
The BTP are also hoping to install platform telephones to provide a direct line to the Samaritans.
Shona of Northallerton Samaritans said:”This is a very long platform, it is where some of the fastest trains come too so it is perhaps targeted by people who are thinking of suicide.
"If people see the posters, or a card or a phone number that could make the difference.
"If you can interrupt their thought process when they are very troubled, that can turn the situation around.
Mike Drewery, Trans Pennine station manager for Teesside said: ”This is a fantastic scheme that we have been able to form partnerships with the Samaritans, with our neighbours, for stations like Northallerton, it means there is a visible presence, we want to make passengers feel safer.”