TWO Shropshire villages have been identified as a hotspot for incidents with dogs around railway crossings, with a warning for owners to keep them safe over Easter.

According to Network Rail’s safety team, 32 reports of trespass and level crossing misuse involving a dog have been reported since this time last year – a dramatic increase of around 200 per cent more.

The majority of incidents have been reported in North Wales and Shropshire, specifically Gobowen, Harlech, Mosytn and Pant.

Both areas, North Wales and Shropshire, are known for being popular staycation areas, with tourists not knowing how many level crossings they may come across.   


Two incidents over the last year where the dogs were off the lead have resulted in two fatalities – one human and one canine – leading to an appeal to stay safe.

Kellyann Jones, community safety manager at Network Rail, said: “When your dog is off a lead you don't have control. Would your dog come back if you called?

“Could it hear you over the sound of a train?

“In a moment of panic your first instinct could be to chase after your dog onto railway. In an attempt to save its life, you put yourself at huge risk.  

“When walking your dog near the railway or over a level crossing please keep it on the lead and under control to avoid a near miss or worse.”  

British Transport Police Superintendent for Wales, Andrew Morgan, added: “With parts of the rail network electrified, trains operating at high speeds and at quieter levels, changes in timetables, and for many other reasons, the railway can be a dangerous place.   

“I urge all dog walkers to be extremely vigilant by keeping their pets on a lead at all times when near the rail network. 

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“I would also caution everyone that accessing the rail network beyond permitted access, such as using a level crossing, is not only dangerous, but is classed as illegal trespass.”  

Leyton Powell, director of Safety, Sustainability and Risk at Transport for Wales, said: “We’ve seen a number of incidents recently where members of the public have followed dogs onto the tracks.

“Even though it has been fortunate no-one has been seriously injured or killed, the difference between a catastrophic event and a near miss is often inches or seconds. 

“We urge anyone walking a dog near to the railway to keep them under control at all times and not to put your own life at risk by trying to retrieve animals which have gone onto the tracks.”