NETWORK Rail has been urged to tighten up security at a former railway bridge after Barnsley Council officially lodged its concerns over youths throwing bricks into traffic below.

Incidents have happened on Barnsley Road, Cudworth, which has seen youngsters scale the banking of the former railway line where the bridge used to go across the main road at an area known as The Valley.

Although it’s been made a priority for the local policing team - whose officers have been increasing their patrols as a result of complaints made by Coun Charlie Wraith - the Chronicle understands a passing car’s roof was damaged last Wednesday night having been struck by an object.

The latest incident follows a flurry last month, which saw two more cars and a bus being damaged.

Paul Brannan, head of safer communities for the council, wrote a letter to Network Rail - the landowner - asking them to consider repositioning its fencing to prevent access.

In Text Promo Image

“Unfortunately in recent weeks we have witnessed problems with a group of young people accessing the land and throwing missiles at traffic below from the gap where the old bridge used to cross,” the letter said.

“With our partners in South Yorkshire Police, the council are working to try and identify those involved and stop any further problems and this has included deploying staff to the location on an evening.

“Nevertheless, we have not yet been successful in preventing the problem which clearly represents a potential danger to road users below. It is with this in mind that I am writing to ask if your organisation would consider providing some additional fencing to block easy access to the end point of the old bridge.

“It may be possible to reposition the existing fencing or blocks so that there is more of a buffer between the end of the old bridge and the road below.”

Network Rail opted to erect fencing when the bridge was removed in March 2015, but youths have been seen on the playing field side - The Valley - where there’s been issues with antisocial behaviour ‘since the removal’.

Coun Wraith said: “It’s got to the point where although the police, to their credit, have acted, last week’s incident shows it hasn’t stopped and we’re talking about a potentially deadly situation.

“It’s purely by chance that the objects have hit vehicles’ roofs instead of their windscreens, which would easily shatter given the weight of a brick, the 30mph speed limit and the fact it’s been thrown from a height.

“It’s essential something is done and the only solution I can see is to rethink the fencing to prevent access.”

Dawn Sweeting, community safety manager for Network Rail, added: “Safety is Network Rail’s top priority and we are committed to working with Barnsley Council and South Yorkshire Police to help them tackle this issue.

“Workers are going to carry out an inspection of the area and see what measures can be taken to help resolve this.”