Managers at Ruddington’s heritage railway centre have issued a trespass warning – after reports that a number of people have been walking along their tracks between here and East Leake.
It seems the problem started as villagers sought out longer, ‘socially distanced’ walks when exercise restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak were eased. It also appears to have been exacerbated by an online video blog recommending this activity – for which the blogger has since apologised.
It’s clear that she, and others taking to the empty tracks, didn’t appreciate they were doing anything wrong – since no passenger services are able to be run from Great Central Railway Nottingham (GCRN) until further notice due to the pandemic.
However, GCRN Director, Phil Stanway says: “It is not okay to trespass on any railway line, even when it appears to be closed – and certainly not okay to publish it via social media platforms inciting others to do the same. In the case of our line, although no heritage services running at the moment, it is still in use for non passenger services and freight services coming in off the Midland Mainline. It SHOULD NOT be accessed by any member of the public for any reason. Not only is this against the law (you are trespassing!) it could see someone get seriously hurt, or worse.”
Rushcliffe Police are backing GCRN’s warning, saying: “This is NOT a Public Footpath.
It is not acceptable to trespass on any railway line, even if it appears to be closed. For your own safety – and to ensure young people are not encouraged to think rail lines are a place to walk or have fun – please stick to the numerous public footpaths that are in the local area.”
Last weekend officers had to be called out to deal with a group of ten plus teenagers from the local area trespassing and climbing on top of railway containers near Fifty Steps Bridge – along with others running up and down the line – all of whom fled when police turned up. Parents are asked to be sure you always know where your teenagers are – otherwise it may result in ten plus households getting infected with COVID-19.
Phil adds: “There are lots of beautiful publicly accessible walks local to Ruddington, Clifton, East Leake and the surrounding area, so please stick to those – for your own safety.”
One of those circular walks, created by David R Thompson (who took the GCRN railway scene photos top and below) can be found >>HERE<<.