Grantham

Lorries strike three bridges in Grantham 130 times over past five years

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Three rail bridges in Grantham have been struck an astonishing 130 times by lorries in the last five years, costing taxpayers £1.3 million in damages and delays.

Bridge strikes on Barrowby Road, Harlaxton Road and Springfield Road have caused the equivalent of over nine days of delays to road users and rail passengers.

All three bridges are used by trains on the East Coast Mainline, one of the busiest routes in the whole country.

Now, Network Rail is urging lorry drivers to know the height of their vehicles and plan their routes ahead of time.

New research has shown that 43% of lorry drivers admit to not knowing the size of their vehicle and over half of them do not take low bridges into account when planning their journeys.

The campaign to raise awareness of this costly and damaging issue has received the backing of haulage and public transport industries.

Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “I’m sure many people in Grantham will have experienced delays due to vehicles striking railway bridges and we appreciate just how frustrating this can be.

“Bridge strikes are completely preventable which is why we have teamed up with key transport industries to raise awareness of the problem and look at ways in which we can work together to reduce these incidents.

“Reducing these incidents means that we can improve journeys for passengers and ensure that we provide a network which meets the needs of the economies and communities our railway serves.”

David Pickering, chief operating officer at Eddie Stobart, added: “We are pleased to be supporting Network Rail’s campaign as we have worked really hard to highlight the importance of our drivers knowing the height of their vehicles.

“As well as carefully planning routes to avoid low bridges, we carry out manual vehicle checks at the beginning of every journey which requires the driver to adjust the trailer height on a measurement in the cab.

“Additionally, we are installing software early next year which will warn drivers with an audible alarm when they are approaching a bridge.

“We have also tried some quirky ways of engaging drivers in the issue including our giant giraffe ‘Bridget’ in our training academy which serves as a constant reminder to our drivers of why they need to be bridge aware!”