A petition has been launched urging authorities to up safety measures at a County Durham train station that has seen "tragic incidents" recently. 

Chester-le-Street station has been deemed "too accessible" following a spate of sad incidents and near-misses. 

Only this week, a person was struck by a train near Chester-le-Street station. They were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services, and scheduled trains ground to a halt between Newcastle and Darlington. 

Gracie Howden has started a petition on Change.org, calling for enhanced barriers and 24/7 surveillance of the tracks.

She is hopeful that more stringent measures "can hopefully prevent accidents and ensure better safety and well-being."

Even though the petition was started only yesterday (Wednesday, June 5), so far, it has attracted 1,236 signatures, a testament to the strength of support for bumped-up safety features in Chester-le-Street. 

Gracie writes: "The railway tracks at Chester-le-Street are currently too accessible to the public with  numerous tragic incidents and near-misses reported in recent years.

"Too many people are losing their lives.

"Enhancing barriers and 24-hour surveillance can hopefully prevent accidents and ensure better safety and well being.

"I lost a good friend in April 2021 due to an incident at Chester-le-Street train tracks. He is missed dearly by his friends and family every day.

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"Since then two more people I know of have unfortunately passed from the same incident. 

"Suicide prevention strategies and measures need to be taken! 

"Sign this petition to urge local authorities to take immediate action for more protection around Chester-le-Street tracks."

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