Suicide prevention plan on railways welcomed

Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM has welcomed the transport minister’s commitment to reduce suicides at railway stations after his response to questions today in the Senedd.

Llyr Gruffydd asked the minister whether the £200 million investment in stations would include works to make them safer in the light of shocking statistics that 237 suicides and suspected suicides took place on UK railways in 2016-7.

Mr Gruffydd said: “Network Rail is working closely with the Samaritans to reduce these figures by making staff and passengers more aware of those at risk. They are also investing in preventative measures at railway stations – including lighting, better fencing and positioning benches to face away from tracks. Anything that helps to reduce suicides and suicide attempts at railway stations is clearly welcome and needed when we consider that 4.5% of all suicides in the UK take place at such locations.”

He said he was glad that the transport minister Ken Skates had responded positively to his appeal: “The minister gave an assurance that he would ask Transport for Wales to analyse how it intends to spend the £200m earmarked for railway station improvements and to put together a suicide prevention plan together with Network Rail. I’m glad he’s taken this matter seriously and will await the outcome of this plan with interest.”

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