Novel solution employed at Paddington station to tackle platform trip risk

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Blue flashing lights have been installed on one of the platforms at London Paddington station to reduce the number of accidents caused by passengers tripping  between the train and platform.

The lights on Platform 6 flash when the doors of Heathrow Express services open. The idea is the lights will help to draw attention to the gap and bring down the number of reported step board incidents.

Installed by Pod-Trak, it is believed to be the first time this kind of lighting has been used at a national railway station in the UK. The lights were switched on for the first time on December 8.

Heathrow Express has previously worked with Network Rail to pioneer the use of gap fillers – rubber brushes that are attached to the platform edge – which have reduced the number of incidents by 85 per cent where they’ve been deployed. However, curved platforms at Paddington meant this particular solution could not be used.

Fraser Brown, director of Heathrow Express, said: “Ensuring that our passengers get to their destination safely and as quickly as possible is our key aim and the flashing blue lights together with the footprint vinyls at the curved end of Platform 6 at Paddington, will reduce accidents by providing a visual reminder to passengers and staff to be mindful of their step.”

Mark Langman, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “Our focus on safety is relentless. This is another example of how we are striving to be even better.”