Video via Network Rail
Shocking footage emerged today of a lorry smashing into a railway bridge after a serious height misjudgement by its driver.
The incident on the A49 Beeston High Road at Tarporley in Cheshire happened just before midday on Thursday (October 4).
The HGV (heavy goods vehicle) struck the underside of the bridge before grinding to a standstill and lurching over.
Trains had to be temporarily halted on the Crewe-Chester line while a Network Rail structural engineer checked the bridge was safe.
Five entirely avoidable incidents like this take place on average every day across Britain. The problem costs the British taxpayer £23 million a year.
Each of the 1,800 (annual average) bridge strikes a year halts freight and passenger train journeys by an average of two hours.
Yesterday’s incident prompted Network Rail to reiterate its ‘wise up, size up’ message to drivers of all high vehicles.
Phil James, head of operations for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said:
“Drivers need to know the height of their vehicle, not guess. In short: Wise up, size up.
“Dangerous incidents like this one at Tarporley cause huge inconvenience to train passengers and to motorists, not to mention the cost to the taxpayer. The really galling thing is they’re all entirely avoidable. Roadside signage is provided to warn motorists on the height of our bridges.”
Network Rail will be pursuing a claim for the cost of the incident at Tarporley through the haulage firm’s insurers.
Research shows 43 per cent of lorry drivers admit to not measuring their vehicle before heading out on the road. Fifty-two per cent admit to not taking low bridges into account.
Network Rail reminds drivers to check their vehicle and plan their route to avoid low bridges before setting off.
On its website are tools, training and guidance in several languages to help drivers and logistics companies avoid bridge strikes.