Raw Video : A trainspotter was ordered to stop taking pictures on a station platform because he might pose a `security risk.'
Edmund Tan, a retired chartered accountant, was approached by a Virgin Trains worker at Macclesfield. She demanded he put his cameras away.
The company says there is a ban on anyone taking pictures or filming at stations without permission because of `security concerns' - which includes fears about possible terrorist attacks. Footage shot by Mr Tan shows the confrontation, which ends with him pleading: "But I'm a trainspotter!”
Mr Tan, of London Road, Prestbury, later said: “I was amazed. In the past I have always taken photos of trains on the platform. The member of staff came over and told me to turn the camera off because I had not asked permission. She was very rude.
“When I asked if I could have permission she said 'No'. I had asked her to be quiet because I was trying to film and she said I had been abusive.
“I have never heard anything like it. What if genuine tourists just want to take pictures of their travel – will they be rudely told off as well?
“I love trains. I have more than 200 model trains at home.”
The showdown took place at Macclesfield station last Sunday. Mr Tan dropped off his daughter Jennifer, 22, to catch a train to London just before 4pm. Her father had agreed to drop her off and take the opportunity to take pictures of trains.
A Virgin Trains spokesman confirmed that the incident was recorded on the station log.
He said: “Mr Tan was advised not to take photos at the station without permission. He was then told he could not have permission.
“These rules apply to all stations. They are private property and it is reasonable that people as a courtesy should check-in before taking photos.
“It also helps ensure safety and security, both of the people taking the pictures and of the general public.”
When asked to explain what security risk might be posed by a trainspotter, the spokesman added: “There are a number of issues around security. They could include things like terrorism or the security of the station – for example, we’ve had some burglaries at Macclesfield station.”
Union bosses claimed earlier this week that a leading rail firm was planning to ban trainspotters from its stations under moves to crack down on faredodgers.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said its officials were told at a meeting that the ban was being planned by National Express on its east coast line. But bosses at National Express strongly denied the claim and said platform passes would be issued to trainspotters.
Tags: Train, Spotter, Ordered, To, Stop, Filming, Trains, Over, Security, Fears
Location: Macclesfield, Cheshire, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Marked as: approved, featured
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