Watch: Women who posed for pictures while lying on railway track branded ‘unthinkingly stupid’
Two women who were caught on CCTV posing for photos while lying on a railway track have been branded “unthinkingly stupid” by police.
CCTV footage shows one of the women looking both ways at a level crossing before lying down across the tracks while her friend takes pictures of her.
The incident happened near the abandoned village of Tide Mills in the South Downs National Park in Sussex at around 11.20am on Monday (January 18).
It is apparently the latest in a string of 17 similar incidents in the popular walking spot in the last nine months.
British Transport Police Inspector Jonathan Pine said: “This is unthinkably stupid behaviour by two women clearly oblivious to the dangers of level crossings.
“Trains pass through this line at speeds of up to 70mph, so they could quite easily have been moments away from a catastrophic incident.
“We’ve seen first-hand the consequences of this sort of recklessness and no photo opportunity is worth risking your life for.”
Network Rail said there have been at least 15 near-misses at the site since April 2020, most likely due to the rising numbers of walkers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dangerous behaviour at the level crossing includes people filming the emergency stop of an oncoming train, as well as pedestrians trying to beat approaching trains.
In one incident, bike users narrowly missed a train and CCTV cameras also captured a funeral procession using the crossing.
Tracy Partridge, East Sussex level crossing manager at Network Rail, said: “We are concerned about repeated dangerous behaviour at Tide Mills level crossing which follows the near misses which took place last year.
“We cannot stress enough the danger that people are placing themselves in when they don’t use a crossing safely.”
She added: “A split-second decision can have life-changing consequences, not only for those involved, but also for their family and friends, train drivers and railway workers.
“Please, never take chances when using level crossings and if you have any concerns, always contact Network Rail or British Transport Police.”
Network Rail has said they are closing the pedestrian crossing after putting in proposals for a new footbridge.
Designed to blend in with local landscape and heritage features of the old village, the new bridge is hoped to provide safer access to Seaford beach and the surrounding landscape.
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