This article was originally uploaded to Quays News

Holiday revellers are being warned to stay safe and to keep a clear head in Manchester this season.

Greater Manchester Transport police have been reminding people of the dangers of railways and level crossings, particularly when alcohol is involved.

With the festive season comes opportunity to indulge, with Christmas parties and New Years round the corner but for some unfortunate people the fun could quickly spell danger if they’re not careful.

Tom Lee, Director of Standards at The Rail Safety and Standards Board said:

“Travelling by train is very safe and we want everyone to have a harmless and punctual journey whilst enjoying the festive season. However, with around 469 alcohol-related incidents at the platform edge over the past 5 years, passengers and level crossing users are reminded to take care so that they get to and from their destination safely.”

Particular danger points highlighted as part of the Keep a Clear Head campaign are:

  • Not heeding warnings at level crossings
  • Trips and slips at the platform edge/station stairs/escalators
  • Mistakenly straying onto the railway tracks.

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Andrea Graham, a Chief Inspector for British Transport Police, responsible for Greater Manchester said:

“Manchester has a really busy night time economy, we’re encouraging people to come into the city, come have a good time, it’s a great place to come and enjoy yourself socially, we don’t want to stop that at all and we certainly don’t want people to not use pub transport we want to encourage it, that’s obviously good for the city’s economy and really  good for network rail, good for the train operating companies, transport for Greater Manchester, we’re really encouraging it, but we just want people to be sensible about it and enjoy themselves sensibly.”

How many alcohol related incidents are there on the railyway? 

Of the 7419 alcohol-related incidents on or around the railway in 2016/17, 16% of them took place over the festive period – between 24 November 2016 and 2 January 2017 there were 21 people killed due to alcohol-related incidents at the platform edge, and a further 91 people have been seriously injured over the last 10 years. Passengers getting on and off trains were involved in a further 469 alcohol-related accidents in the last five years.

According to British Transport Police, there is also a significant rise in violent incidents at many of the UK’s railway stations over the festive season, much of which is caused by excess alcohol.

Between 24th November 2016 and 2nd January 2017, the number of violent offences reported at railway stations across England, Scotland and Wales increased by 14% compared with the same period in 2015/16. Almost one in 10 of those offences involved alcohol.

Network Rail produced an interactive video to show the dangers of the railway during the holiday season and to promote Keep a Clear Head, check it out below.

Make sure to follow #KeepAClearHead on Twitter. 

If you ever see anything on the platform call GMTP at 0800 40 50 40 or text at 61016.

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