Drink dens are inches from death

TEENAGERS have been climbing under railway platforms in Weston and Worle and using them as drinking dens.

TEENAGERS have been climbing under railway platforms in Weston and Worle and using them as drinking dens. Cans and bottles of alcohol left empty under Weston Milton and Worle Parkway stations show how the platforms are being used as hideouts.Trains can speed through the stations at around 90mph, just a few feet from the dens.A Weston Mercury photographer was met by a police officer and Network Rail officials at the station in Milton so he could take these exclusive pictures which show how the station is being misused.As well as drinking under platforms, youngsters have been spotted running in front of trains and throwing stones at them.On Good Friday a driver was forced to stop his train because of children playing 'chicken' on the tracks. When he got out and told them to move, they spat in his face and ran off.The British Transport Police and Network Rail are campaigning to stop the problems. They will be using a helicopter to scour the lines for unruly teenagers during the summer and are appealing to parents to discourage their children from playing near the tracks.Route crime officer PC Clive Davies said: "Kids are climbing onto the tracks and under the concrete platform to create dens."One youngster was killed doing the same thing in Bedminster in Bristol last year."They can't hear the train coming and poke their heads out. If a train goes past at 90mph they don't stand a chance."These incidents have been particularly bad at Worle Parkway station and Weston Milton station."We are looking at caging the Milton station off to stop children getting under there. I don't know what the attraction is but they seem to think it is a good place to drink and smoke."We are also seeing kids putting items on the tracks and throwing stones at the trains as they pass. This kind of thing can lead to much bigger problems than they realise."With the onset of longer evenings, children play outside more so during the school holidays we will be not only on bikes carrying out high visibility patrols, but we are also going to use our helicopter to catch people."We're also imploring parents to make sure their kids understand the dangers of playing near or on the tracks. We don't want any children to die as a result of playing this summer."I hope the public will support us by reporting incidents to the police.