Network Rail has revealed which bridge has been bashed by lorries more than any other – and it’s been hit 113 times since 2009.
Stuntney Road bridge in Ely, Cambridgeshire, claims the unfortunate title for having the most bridge strikes in the UK, followed by Kenworthy Road bridge in Homerton with 99 strikes and Thurlow Park Road in Tulse Hill which was also been struck 92 times.
Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said it is only a matter of time before someone is killed as a result and called on HGV drivers and their operators to get behind its campaign to put a stop to bridge strikes.
The railways suffer almost 2,000 bridge strikes every year, costing £23 million in damages and delays. On average each bridge strike costs £13,500 and causes two hours of delays to train services.
Around five bridge strikes happen across the country each day but during the months of October and November the number of incidents peak to 10 every day. This is believed to be caused in part by an increase in deliveries in the run up to Christmas.
Network Rail’s campaign to reduce the number of incidents will see it:
- Engage with haulage and public transport bodies
- Fit steel beams on rail bridges where there are a large number of strikes to reduce the impact
- Work with local authorities to ensure road signs display correct bridge heights
- Call for stricter enforcement of penalties for drivers when strikes do happen.
Sir Peter Hendy added, ‘Size does matter when you’re a professional driver in a heavy vehicle. Not knowing the size of your vehicle or load could lead to a serious accident, and the loss of your licence.
‘Every incident creates potential delay for tens of thousands of passengers and potential costs for taxpayers, and this is happening multiple times a day.
‘It’s only a matter of time before road or rail users are killed as a result of this carelessness; we need professional HGV drivers and their operator employers to get behind and support this campaign to eradicate bridge bashing, which reaches epidemic levels at this time of year.’
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