Children are being warned to stay away from train tracks this Easter, after reports of youngsters misbehaving on a crossing near Blackbird Leys and Littlemore.

British Transport Police have had several calls in the last fortnight about young people on the crossing at the end of Sandy Lane, Oxford, near the BMW Plant.

They are asking parents to make sure their children know about the dangers of messing around near the railways.

Pc Bob Burrowes, of the British Transport Police, said: “We want to appeal to parents and local residents to be aware of this crossing.

“We have had an increase in reports of crossing misuse, so we are increasing our patrols and we are happy to speak to any member of the public concerned about crossing safety.”

The most recent reports were on Thursday, March 22, and the previous Thursday, both at about 3pm.

The level crossing goes over the freight railway branch line that serves the BMW Mini factory. About six to eight trains run a day.

Pc Burrowes said: “The number of trains has recently increased, so people may not be familiar with the times they go past.

“They may not realise the speed they travel at. And even if people see a train coming from a long distance away, they might panic and freeze. Crossings are safe when they are used correctly, but problems occur when they muck about and don’t use common sense.”

Pc Burrowes said problems historically increased around school holidays. The BTP team has therefore been visiting local schools and talking to children about safety issues.

He said: “We want to raise the awareness about this issue and make sure parents tell their children about these dangers.

“It’s not so funny when you’ve got 100 tons of metal pounding towards you.”

He added: “You wouldn’t play on a motorway. So don’t play on a train line either.”

To report any incidents call BTP in Oxford on 01865 256000 or its emergency number on 0800 405040.