British Transport Police are urging walkers to steer clear of the tracks at one of the former stations on the PWRS line.
Contrary to common belief, the line at Burn Naze Station on the Wyre Power Station branch line is not disused, but is used daily to test track mounted machinery.
While passenger services ceased to run on the track in 1970, the line is still in use and as such poses a danger to anyone who strays near to the railway. Walking along the track is trespass, an offence punishable by a fine of up to £1000.
Following reports that families have been using the line as a public footpath for walks, BTP officers have issued an urgent warning. Sgt John Phillips said:
“It has come to our attention that many walkers are using the tracks, believing it is now disused and practically a public footpath. We want to make it very clear that this is not the case. Looks can be very deceiving – while it may seem that the line is no longer used this isn’t the case. Anyone trespassing on the line runs the risk of serious injury and a criminal record. Please stay away from the railway line.
“There are plenty of picturesque walks in the area that don’t risk your safety.
“Children should always be taught to stay away from the railway. By normalising walking on or playing near tracks at a young age inevitably it means they will grow up believing that playing on the railway is acceptable and safe – something we work so hard to change. Once the idea that it’s safe is ingrained in a young mind it takes a lot to change that mindset and convince them of the dangers. We’ve seen too many cases of children killed or horrifically injured because they’ve strayed too close to the line.”
British Transport Police are increasing patrols in the area to deter walkers from trespassing and is working with Network Rail to ensure that appropriate signage warning of the dangers of trespass are erected at the site.