Anti trespass grids

Panels of rubber spikes (often known as “Witches Hats”), slanted wooden boards or similar, to prevent access to the track.

Influences access to the track, using a floor mounted structure that is difficult to walk over.

At the ramps at platform ends or the edges of level crossings to prevent access to the track.

By whom? - Rail organisations (NR / TOC).

Applicability / suitability for trespass types

Where there is a known problem of access from a location (e.g. platform end, crossing), or could be fitted routinely as parts of upgrades or to combat a general problem at stations or crossings along a part of a rail route.  These can be used where they can be fitted so that people cannot walk around these.

Trespasser type = All.

Trespass events = Convenience, fare evasion, anti-social behaviour, graffiti, hangout, recreation, theft.

Observed behaviours = Exiting the platform from the platform end, access the track from a level crossing. 

Potential Motivations = Various, but people are likely to be seeking to use the location as an easy means of access to get to another location.


High effectiveness

Limited documented evidence, though two studies found anti-trespass grids to be very effective (78-95% decrease in trespass), when combined with fencing and cameras (monitoring and surveillance).  Likely to act as a physical barrier and symbolic barrier that will make access harder and minimise trespass for many trespass types. 

Should have immediate effect on certain trespass types.

Any effect should be maintained over time for these groups, though those determined to access will find other ways around the grids.

Factors influencing effectiveness

Depends on the type of trespass at stations (i.e. likely to work for people taking a short cut, but probably not with those with greater determination for access e.g. theft).

Quality of the design and fitting of the anti-trespass grids at a location.

How to apply or implement, including dependencies

Often used in conjunction with platform end gates, signage and other surveillance.

Needs careful design of the intervention so that it does provide a useful barrier and visual deterrent (e.g. it can be possible to walk around these or walk or jump over these if not designed well).



Design, material and fitting costs.

Likely to be part of other fencing works at a station location (e.g. platform end gates).

Will likely be needed at all platforms and platform ends at a station as people may change to an alternative access point.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Senior Safety Intelligence Analyst for further information.
Siona Vass
Tel: 020 3142 5485
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