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Friday, 25 April 2014

Viaduct tradition stopped

A CHRISTMAS tradition has been stopped for the second festive season running.

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PATROLLED: The Arnside viaduct

Network Rail is telling people to keep off the viaduct across the Kent estuary between Arnside and Grange.

It became tradition for people to stroll across the viaduct on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, because no trains run on those days in Cumbria.

But Network Rail say the walk is unsafe and illegal.

Despite extensive engineering works to the viaduct last spring, it says the line is unsafe for pedestrians.

A spokesman said: “It is still being shut and we will have staff and the British Transport Police there to stop people from going across.

“We have rebuilt the viaduct, but it is still illegal to walk across.

“Trespassing on a railway is a criminal offence and can bring a fine of £1,000.

“From a safety point of view, because the signal box is closed, that doesn’t mean trains won’t run.

“We could possibly have works trains going across.

“It is a steel infrastructure, too, and if it is icy and snowy, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

“We can’t allow it to continue.

“Irrespective of the offence, if something were to happen we would be partly accountable.”

Rail bosses posted British Transport Police at Arnside and Grange train stations last year, halting people who wanted to do the walk.

In 2009, BTP did an unofficial count of people crossing the viaduct and calculated up to 800 may have walked over it.

To get on to the viaduct, many people simply walk off the ends of the station platforms and along the railway tracks.

The Network Rail spokesman said: “There is no proper walkway over the viaduct and there are lots of things people could trip up on.

“Walkers have been seen leading young children by the hand with the children on the outside of the viaduct.

“It would only need the child – or an adult, for that matter – to trip and they could easily slip through the handrail into the River Kent below.”

Have your say

Posted by Paul on 24 December 2011 at 08:35

Ess - "I remember being told that it was actually an act of trespass to go on any railway lines and so it was illegal. Hey everyone, lets all tramp through ess' living room with permission. Thought not!

Bet you're a dare-devil and bundle of fun, Paul! Probably wear gauntlets, hard-hat, goggles and ear protectors too to pull a Christmas cracker?

"...lets all tramp through ess' living room with permission."

Wouldn't be "trespass" then would it Paul, if "with permission?"

It would be more dangerous attempting to tramp through my living room than tramping across the viaduct...but you wouldn't risk it would you, Paul!

Posted by Ess on 26 December 2011 at 14:47

By tradition, you must mean it's been going on for the last two, or three hundred years or so, is that the case ?

No, it's been going on for a very few years, and it's called trespassing. People are arrested for doing the same thing through the year.

So don't be so irresponsible/stupid, and stop walking where you shouldn't be.

Posted by Dan on 24 December 2011 at 22:39

View all 6 comments on this article

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