Workshops help highlight safety at level crossings
Safety at level crossings has been highlighted in workshops for children at two Lancing primary schools.
The rail team from Kier Group organised sessions at Seaside Primary School, in Freshbrook Road, on Thursday, and at The Globe Primary Academy, in Irene Avenue, on Friday.
The aim was to reach 250 pupils in years five and six, linking to work the group is carrying out on the Brighton mainline and to tie in with Network Rail’s ongoing level crossing safety campaign.
Railway engineer Kellie Judd said she is a mum with children the same age, so she knows how important it is to get the message across.
She explained the Network Rail scoring system for level crossings, going from one for the safest to 13 for the most dangerous, and pointed out Lancing is ranked at 13.
She added: "Lancing level crossing is one of the most dangerous places around if not used properly. It is in the town centre, so it is used quite often. It is a busy crossing with 213 trains going over it every day."
Kellie organised a game about speed to help the children think about how fast animals, people and vehicles travel.
They discovered squirrels run at 12mph, a little slower than a child, while the fastest land animal is a cheetah at 72mph, compared to trains at 125mph.
Kellie said: "Trains are fast but also they are electric, so they are very quiet. Unlike a cheetah, the train won't be able to swerve and it won't be able to stop quickly either."
She talked to the children about peer pressure, common sense and risk, with the help of a safety quiz.
Kellie said: "Sometimes it is easy to forget about common sense, sometimes you get distracted. Seeing other people doing something that is not safe does not mean it would be okay for you."
Andy Mattack, spoke about level crossing safety and ran a speed quiz.
He said: "We have one of the busiest railways in the world. An InterCity train weighs 400 tonnes, equivalent to 80 elephants, and after braking, it will travel 20 lengths."