Students transform station shelter with an important rail safety message

There’ll be no trespassing on the railways at Conwy as students from Ysgol Aberconwy work with Andy Birch (Dime One North Wales Graffiti Art Murals), to transform the shelter into a piece of art highlighting a very important rail safety message.

The project, in partnership with Transport for Wales, British Transport Police and funded by the Conwy Valley and North West Wales Community Rail Partnership, aims to try and reduce trespass and anti-social behaviour at railway stations. British Transport Police Wales engaged with pupils in the school, and PCSO Suzanne Hall visited the school to explain the project and to discuss the dangers of trespassing on the railway to students.

PCSO Suzanne Hall said “In the past year, Anti-Social Behaviour including Trespass committed by youths has become a worrying trend in the Conwy area.  In an effort to help deter poor behaviour we have used our positive relationship with Ysgol Aberconwy along with Transport for Wales, Conwy Valley and North West Wales Community Rail Partnership and the artist Andy Birch to engage some of the Ysgol Aberconwy’s students.  22 of the pupils working with Andy have produced an amazing rail safety message within the waiting Shelter at Conwy Railway Station.”

After being shown how to create graffiti style lettering and designs by Andy, students then worked together to create a design for a mural. The vibrant, striking mural was spray painted in the shelter at Conwy railway station by Andy Birch and the students, with Mrs Bethan Russell, Art & Design teacher and PCSO Suzanne Hall also having a turn with the spray paint! The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are very proud of the final result. We think the completed design looks amazing!

Andy Baker, Transport for Wales Station Manager (North West Wales) said, “It’s important to engage with young people in a way that they understand, this project was a wonderful way of engaging with the pupils from Ysgol Aberconwy and get over the importance of safety around railways. It is a fabulous piece of Art. I was so impressed with the pupils from Ysgol Aberconwy, their engagement and how they had thought about the safety subject, they were polite and pleasant, a credit to their parents and the school.”

Karen Williams, Community Rail Officer for the Conwy Valley and North West Wales Coast Community Rail Partnership said: “Following reports of trespassing at Conwy, I was approached by Andy Baker station manager to identify an opportunity to work with pupils from Ysgol Aberconwy, following the huge success of previous art projects at other local stations with other secondary school pupils. Dime One agreeing to this also, meant we could make this a huge effort with maximum impact to get across a hugely important safety message. The finished design looks fantastic, and definitely gets the message across. A huge thank you from me to all involved on another great example of collaborative working.”

Mr Gerrard, Headteacher said, “Congratulations to everyone involved and thank you for all your hard work. As a school we were delighted to be asked to participate in this important initiative that could help to save lives.”