New campaign to stop passengers obstructing train doors
23 October 2013 • Author: Gardiner Richardson
METRO is launching a new campaign aimed at encouraging passengers not to obstruct train doors – and in the process improve services.
The initiative includes a specially commissioned animation called ‘Use your brain near a train’. The satirical film features cartoon characters who receive a range of injuries as a result of obstructing train doors. The film is being used on Metro’s social media channels in a bid to educate passengers about the dangers and reduce the number of incidents of people obstructing train doors.
The campaign is in response to a Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report into an incident at Jarrow Metro station last year when a woman’s arm became trapped in the doors of a train. She was dragged a short distance along the platform, as passengers on board raised the alarm and alerted the driver, who stopped the train.
The RAIB recommended in its report into this incident, that DB Regio Tyne and Wear, which operates the Metro on behalf of Nexus, makes improvements to its maintenance of train doors, driver training and also educates passengers about the dangers of obstructing the train doors.
Last year there were three incidents of people being trapped in train doors, but a survey carried out by two of DB Regio Tyne and Wear’s train drivers as part of the RAIB investigation show there are at least 20,000 incidents of passengers deliberately obstructing the doors on trains each year.
People hold the doors of trains open for others, or there have been incidents of passengers using walking sticks, wheelchairs, prams, umbrellas and even pets to try to prevent doors from closing so they can board a train at the last minute.
As well as being dangerous, obstructing the doors of Metro trains is costly and causes major disruption to services. If the doors of a train are damaged, the train must be taken out of service to be checked and repaired, causing inconvenience to hundreds of passengers at a time.
Train driver Chris Wray, said: “People obstruct the doors every day – I’ve had at least two or three incidents during my five-hour shift just now. I once saw a train with a walking stick stuck in the doors. People know they shouldn’t do it, because we tell them, but they still do. It’s very frustrating as a driver to see it happening again and again. It’s dangerous, makes us late and can cause problems with the doors, which means we have to take trains out of service – and that’s an inconvenience to passengers.”
There have been 80 incidents of trains being delayed because of people holding doors open, since April. Passengers who are caught obstructing the doors face a fine of up to £1,000 and there have been two people prosecuted in the last 18 months.
Sharon Kelly, Director of Operations and Customer Services at DB Regio Tyne and Wear, said: “Metro trains are very safe and thankfully incidents where people have been dragged after getting stuck in the doors of trains are very rare. We have nearly 40 million passenger journeys a year, and over the last two years there have been just five incidents of people getting trapped.
“However, the number of incidents where people obstruct the doors is quite high – and these incidents cause disruption, delays and cost us a lot of money each year in repairs.
“We introduced platform announcements and put posters up on train doors to remind passengers that they shouldn’t obstruct the doors, but it doesn’t seem to have worked, because people are still doing it.
“It’s madness really. You wouldn’t stick your hand in the door of a bus that was about to leave a bus stop, would you? But that’s just what people are doing on the Metro.
“So, to try and grab more people’s attention we decided to make this animation. We hope it will drive home the message, making it more memorable, so people don’t obstruct train doors, because it is dangerous, causes all sorts of problems in terms of disruption – as well as the cost of repairs.”
To view CCTV footage of people who have become stuck or dragged as a result of obstructing train doors go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exqBIx-V-_Y&feature=youtu.be
To view the animation go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0EEucaCQuA&feature=youtu.be