New training tool boosts Metro level crossing safety awareness

Mock up level crossing on Metro
19 April 2024

A new and interactive training tool is being used to promote level crossing safety on the Tyne and Wear Metro. 

We have installed a mocked-up Metro level crossing at the SafetyWorks teaching centre in Newcastle. 

It recreates the red stop lights and warning tones and will be used to educate thousands of children about the dangers of misusing them. 

The mock-up is a new part of an immersive Metro safety training facility, which includes a Metro station called West Fifteen, tracks, ticket machines, platforms, and a life-sized front end of a Metro train.

Safety Works, which is based in the west end of Newcastle, is a multi-agency training facility which is used by the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Police, Nexus, and the local authorities to conduct safety awareness days for young people.

Courses, which are tailored for school visits, students and young offenders, include everything from road and railway safety, to fire prevention and criminal justice. 

Deborah Rodenby, Youth Liaison Officer at Nexus, said: “Our new Metro level crossing mock-up is an engaging and interactive tool to get the safety message across to young people in a more effective way. 

“It offers a visual experience which helps children understand the need to stop, look and listen at Metro crossings, just like they are taught to do when they are crossing the road. 

“We’ve wanted to make our level crossing safety course more immersive for a while and it’s important to have this new feature at our dedicated Metro training area at SafetyWorks. 

“I get to see thousands of children every year to promote railway safety. It’s amazing how a lot of them don’t know what a level crossing is, and many don’t understand the dangers if they misuse them. 

“I can use the mock up to show them exactly what the crossing does, and what to look out for when it activates. It’s vital when crossing over on foot to be alert and always pay attention. We also show them the risks of being distracted by mobile phones or headphone use. 

“Any training tool which is interactive increases the chances of the key messages getting through to the young people. It makes the exercises fun and they enjoy themselves as well as learning how to be safe.” 

The focus of SafetyWorks lies in teaching pupils about various forms of health and safety, and there are a number of different day trips that schools can get involved with.

SafetyWorks prides itself on creating an interactive, informative day out. The classes are scenario-based, meaning children are immersed in realistic situations throughout their visit to learn about potential problems, how they arise and how to combat them directly.

All classes are held in a life-sized ‘safety town’, so the resources that the students interact with are the physical areas around them.

There are five road level crossings on the Metro network which are used by cars and pedestrians – Callerton Parkway, Bank Foot, Kingston Park, Fawdon, and Howdon.

There is also two level crossings on the Sunderland line, which is owned and managed by Network Rail, at Tile Sheds and at East Boldon.

Metro has three different foot crossings located at Woolsington near Newcastle, Hebburn South Drive in South Tyneside, and South Wellfield in Noth Tyneside near West Monkseaton. 


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