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Heritage railway issue statement as they are victims of Vandalism and trespass

The Churnet Valley Railway has issued a warning following trespassing on the railway line at Leekbrook Junction.

The railway said

“Sadly again some members of the public believe it’s perfectly acceptable to trespass on the railway. The images below are taken from both our CCTV and passengers on board our train.

Some people don’t understand that even a heritage railway such as ours will kill. This is not scaremongering, or bullying we are stating facts.

There is no excuse for this blatant act of trespass, the kid in the pictures tore apart a fence with some tools they carried with them. We can renew and repair fencing but one day we will not get to it in time and the consequences will be fatal.

Equally some residents believe they are at liberty to blatantly destroy protective equipment on our level crossing at Leekbrook.”

The railway were also recently victims of vandalism on the railway lines expansion in to Leek.

A spokesperson for the railway said

“Disappointingly a small minority are taking it upon themselves to try and disrupt contractors working to bring this to reality. It started off with the gluing of door locks to machinery parked up overnight, and has now developed into vandalising new fencing installed to protect members of the public from the construction traffic. It is really saddening to see such selfishness become evident, and really goes against the friendly nature we experience regularly with the majority of people.

The arrival of the railway has always been seen as the first stage in redeveloping the Barnfields area, re-inventing it from the current industrial focus to a tourism hub that is welcoming to locals as well as visitors. With the extension expected to increase visitor numbers from 75,000 to 100,000 within the first couple of years, this extra footfall will bring additional income to the area as whole; a survey conducted by the Heritage Rail Association placed a figure of for £1 being spent within the community for every £9 spent on a railway. That’s across hotels, guesthouses, eateries and local shops. So surely we should be looking to show Leek off in its best light, and not with vandalised fences from people unable to see beyond their own priority.”

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