Transport: Suicide

Department for Transport written question – answered on 15th December 2015.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many suicides were recorded as having taken place on (a) roads, (b) rail lines and (c) underground rail systems in each of the last five years.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The total number of suicides recorded as having taken place on National Rail and on London Underground in each of the last five years are shown in the following table.

Total suicide or suspected suicide: GB

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

National Rail

208

249

245

277

293

London Underground

26

22

24

25

21

Source: ORR

Equivalent data are not available for light rail or for other underground rail systems.

The Government is fully supportive of initiatives which the rail industry is taking, led by Network Rail, in liaison with the Samaritans and other organisations, to reduce the number of suicides on the network. The initiatives include measures to reduce the ease of access to platforms passed by fast trains, and to train staff to intervene to help people near the railway who may be in a distressed state.

Suicides are excluded from road casualty statistics as reported by the police. Highways England figures for the Strategic Road Network show that in 2014 (Jan-Dec) there were 856 suicide/suicide attempts reported. So far in 2015 (Jan – 07 Dec) there have been 762 recorded incidents. These figures are sourced from the Highways England command and control database. Not all suicides/suicide attempts are reported as it may be the case that they have been dealt with by emergency services. The figures reflect those incidents that Highways England have been directly involved in or have been reported to them. In addition, there is no way of knowing how many of the incidents resulted in a fatality.

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