Staffordshire railway bridge is third ‘most-bashed’ in Britain



A railway bridge in Staffordshire was hit by vehicles more than 20 times last year – new figures show.

The bridge, on St John’s Street in Lichfield, was struck 23 times between April 1 2019 and March 31 2020 – making it the third most hit railway bridge in Great Britain.

A bridge in Hinckley, Leicestershire, was at the top of the list of ‘most bashed in Britain’ with 25 strikes, while another bridge in Dudley was second with 24.

Network Rail  have released the figures this morning to highlight the issues caused by bridge strikes.

The new overall number of bridge strikes  is down 11 per cent decline on the previous year –  Network Rail say strikes remain a concern.

They have been working with industry bodies- including Highways England and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)- and hauliers for a number of years to ensure companies and their employees are provided with the knowledge and tools they need to avoid striking bridges.

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail said: “We’ve done a lot of work with partners across the industry in recent years to tackle bridge strikes, and whilst it’s encouraging to see our work is paying off with numbers now on the decline, there’s a lot more to be done to cut the unnecessary delays, costs and safety risks they pose.”

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Most struck railway bridges in Britain 2019/20:

1. Watling Street  Hinckley, Leicestershire  25 strikes

2. Bromford Road  Dudley, West Midlands  24 strikes

3. St John’s Street  Lichfield, Staffordshire  23 strikes

4. Stuntney Road  Ely, Cambridgeshire  19 strikes

5. Abbey Farm  Thetford, Norfolk  16 strikes

6. Thurlow Park Road  Tulse Hill, London  14 strikes

7. Carlisle Road  Cleland, North Lanarkshire  13 strikes

8. Harlaxton Road  Grantham, Lincolnshire  13 strikes

9. Stonea Road  Stonea, Cambridgeshire  13 strikes

10. Coddenham Road  Needham Market, Suffolk  11 strikes

11. Lower Downs Road  Wimbledon, London  11 strikes

12. Warminster Road  Wilton, Wiltshire  10 strikes

13. Prescott Street  Wigan, Greater Manchester  10 strikes

14. Greenhills Road  Paisley, Renfrewshire  9 strikes

15. Newhouse Road  South Ruislip, London  9 strikes

16. Kenworthy Road  Homerton, London  9 strikes

17. St John’s Road  Isleworth, London  9 strikes

18. Jews Lane  Twerton, Somerset  9 strikes

19. Barrowby Road  Grantham, Lincolnshire  8 strikes

20. Cambridge Road  Hitchin, Hertfordshire  8 strikes

Lorry drivers are being reminded to ‘Wise Up, Size Up’ and plan their journeys in advance – with signs appearing on petrol pumps at motorway service stations as part of the campaign.

Hideo Takano, senior structures advisor at Highways England said:  “Although bridge strikes are comparatively low for our roads, as part of the collective drive to reduce bridge strikes happening we work with other transport authorities as part of the Bridge Strike Prevention Group and welcome Network Rail’s new campaign.

“Bridges strikes can cause hours of disruption and although we re-open our roads as soon as possible we recognise the frustration delays can cause.

“Around two-thirds of bridge strikes on our roads are caused by vehicles carrying a load. So, to reduce the risk of this happening we urge all drivers to follow these simple steps; know your height, plan your route and secure your load.”

Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive said:  “There’s real headway being made and we’re seeing a drop in bridge strikes, but we must keep up this momentum to avoid these dangerous and costly incidents.

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“You should ensure your drivers are doing their walkaround checks and noting the height of their vehicle every day.

“While DVSA can fall back on regulatory action to deal with bridge strikes, I’d prefer to see no incidents at all, with operators and drivers checking heights before every journey.”





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