TWO youths who were lying on railway tracks left the driver thinking he had hit them.

A Police Scotland helicopter search was conducted which showed the children, who were on the tracks near Hillington, had not been injured.

The incident that happened over the weekend, along with others, have prompted British Transport Police (BTP) to reinforce awareness around the dangers of the railway.

In separate incidents, children were spotted trespassing near Paisley Gilmour Street station and in Falkirk Grahamston station where youths were standing on a bridge trying to touch overhead wires.

Superintendent David Marshall, head of operations for BTP in Scotland, said: “This type of behaviour is incredibly dangerous. Trains travel at high speeds, have a long stopping distance and they cannot swerve out of the way.

“Some of the railway is also electrified, meaning overhead power lines are installed which carry 25,000 volts. Coming into contact with this equipment or being hit by a train would have life changing consequences, cause devastating injuries and can be fatal.

Glasgow Times:

“It’s extremely concerning that there have been these incidents over the weekend. Too many times we have seen the tragic consequences of children ignoring the warnings and taking risks that have resulted in terrible injuries or death.”

There have been 786 recorded trespass offences committed in Scotland from January - September this year - an 11 per cent decrease on the previous year figure during the same period which was 883 offences.

Mr Marshall added: “We are asking parents and carers to speak to their children about the dangers and how important it is to stay safe. BTP will be conducting additional patrols across the network in response to these recent incidents, and anyone found to be trespassing will be prosecuted.

“Normally BTP officers would be visiting schools across Scotland to meet children face to face and talk to them about how we keep people safe on the railways, and how they can keep themselves safe. Due to Covid we are unable to visit schools, so I strongly urge parents and carers to check where their children are going and remind them of the extreme dangers posed by the railway.”

Anyone who spots someone trespassing is asked to get in touch with BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40. Always ring 999 in an emergency.