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Level crossing production helps raise safety awareness in Portsmouth

A youth group will help to highlight the need to stay safe on level crossings when it performs in a Portsmouth school this week.

The final performance of 'Apparition' will take place at Miltoncross school on Friday (27 September) which is designed to educate young people about the dangers of level crossings and the potential impact on their lives and the lives of others if they are misused.

The performance, which is the last of a number having taken place in the area over the summer, has been organised by the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance and Pompey in the Community, a charity affiliated with Portsmouth Football Club.

It features a student making a documentary about other students – and one in particular who grabs his attention because of his rebellious behaviour. As the story unfolds it shows him trespassing on the railway, ending in a near miss with a train. The production also includes clips of real life level crossing misuse.

Lindsay Banks, a community safety manager for the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, said: “Where a road or footpath meets the railway there will always be a risk to motorists or pedestrians. We want to reduce that risk as much as possible by either closing level crossings wherever we can or educating people how to use them safely.

“Working with Pompey in the Community, we are able to reach groups of young people and explain to them the dangers of misusing level crossings and trespassing on the railway which will help keep them and others safe in the future.”

The young people involved in the production, aged between 14 and 18-years-old, have all been involved in, or are at risk of, anti-social behaviour and the production is designed to help provide them with a focus and challenge as well as educating them and the audience about level crossing safety. There is also an opportunity to gain accredited outcomes through the Trinity College Arts Award.

The project has reached around 1,000 young people over the summer within the Portsmouth and Cosham areas.

For more information on level crossing safety visit www.networkrail.co.uk/safety

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