UK’s Network Rail is predicting a 25% increase in alcohol-related incidents across the rail network in December compared with the beginning of the year.
Data has been collected over the last ten years and highlights more incidents involving intoxication in December than in any other month due to Christmas, New Year and work parties.
Network Rail, British Transport Police and RSSB are requesting party goers to be careful when travelling on or around the railway. They also urged passengers to be careful when around the platform edge after having alcohol.
Network Rail public and passenger safety head Allan Spence said: “Taking a short-cut across the tracks, chancing it at level crossings or tripping as you get onto trains can kill you or change your life forever.
“Don’t let the drink take bad decisions for you, keep a clear head.”
British Transport Police said that there is also a rise in violence at many of the busiest stations over the festive season and much of it is due to excess alcohol.
The number of violent offences between 24 November last year and 2 January this year reported at railway stations across England, Scotland and Wales rose by 8% compared with the same period in 2014-15.
British Transport Police detective chief superintendent Jason Bunyard said: “Our priority is to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely.
“You can expect to see our officers out on the network helping people to enjoy the festivities safely and encouraging them to think about how alcohol can affect the way they behave and the effect this has on other passengers.”
Over the past five years, more than 4,000 alcohol-related incidents were reported and almost half of all incidents reported involved alcohol.
Last December, nearly 250 incidents recorded at level crossings and passengers boarding and exiting trains were involved in 395 alcohol-related events in the last five years.
Image: Network Rail, BTP, RSSB and Drinkaware have urged December revellers to take extra care around railways. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.