Weeks before mesh cage is repaired as children dice with death on walkway

Repairs to a dangerous walkway above Lurgan railway line could take weeks, despite fears after children were spotted climbing perilously above the structure.

The children were photographed climbing on top of the grilled walkway from Brownlow Terrace to Victoria Gardens close to the William St station on Wednesday afternoon.

Children on top of the footbridge over the railway line in Lurgan

Children on top of the footbridge over the railway line in Lurgan

At least three kids were spotted on top of the grill almost 30 feet above ground.

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “The Department has committed to carrying out repairs to the mesh cage around the footbridge and to install anti-climb measures. These measures are currently being fabricated off site and work on the footbridge is expected to start in April.”

A Translink spokesperson said: “Safety is our top priority. We strongly condemn all instances of anti-social behaviour and would urge parents to be vigilant about their child’s whereabouts especially during brighter evenings and weekends.

“We are also working with community representatives in Lurgan to deliver safety awareness sessions next month to deter anti-social behaviour near railway lines.

“Anyone engaging in anti-social behaviour could face prosecution under railways by-laws. NI Railways operates a reward scheme with up to £1,000 available for information which leads to a successful prosecution.”

One eyewitness Conor Thompson said the kids were around 13 or 14 years old: “This is very worrying! I think NIR or Road Service need to do something to stop kids being able to get on top of this bridge!”

“I think this should be highlighted in some way to make parents aware of what their kids are doing!

“After the all those poor people at the weekend - then these kids put their lives at risk,” he said.

“I was going to shout at them to get down but then I thought better of it. I was afraid that it might have spooked them and they could have fallen to their deaths. I thought that if I shouted at them they would panic and fall.

“There were children even young running out in front of trains.”

Sinn Féin spokesperson Sorcha McGeown renewed calls for urgent repairs and safety measures at the footbridge at Kilmaine street.

Ms McGeown said: “The vandalised safety grills on the bridge are yet to be repaired. Both Translink and DfI Roads must act urgently.

“I am gravely concerned by the actions of young people who were climbing on the grids of this bridge - 25ft of the ground.

“I would encourage parents to speak to their children about the dangers including risk to life.”