Emergency alarms cause 17 hours of delays on Greater Anglia trains
- Credit: Greater Anglia
Emergency alarm activations on Greater Anglia trains caused 17 hours of delays over six months.
It comes as the rail operator urged the public to avoid using the alarm, saying it is not the best way to get help on its trains.
From April 1 to September 4, 2021, there were 89 incidents of passengers activating the emergency alarm, causing 1,032 minutes of delays and nine cancellations.
Most incidents were classed as 'malicious' although 13pc were from customers who wanted help.
Those marked as 'malicious' could be fined up to £1,000.
When an emergency alarm is activated the driver of the train must stop and find out what is happening, causing hold-ups for passengers on board the stopped train and trains behind it.
Martin Moran, Greater Anglia commercial, customer service and train presentation director, said: “Activating the emergency alarm delays the train for everyone on board.
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“Other passengers might be trying to get to work, school, funerals, hospital appointments, go on a date, or pick up their children from school or childcare.
“The emergency alarm is just for urgent situations, such as a fire on board.
"Otherwise there are better and quicker ways to get help such as asking for help at the next station or tweeting @greateranglia which is staffed 24/7.
“We want all of our trains to be on time because it’s important our customers can rely on getting to their destinations on time.”
Passengers who are sick are advised not to activate the emergency alarm but to wait until the next station where the ill passenger can be taken off the train and treated where medical help will arrive more quickly.
If someone becomes ill on a train and it’s a life-threatening emergency, passengers should dial 999 for an ambulance.
Passengers should also alert any staff on board or contact Greater Anglia via Twitter.
Anyone who spots someone activating the emergency alarm 'maliciously' is asked to text British Transport Police on 61016.