We cover the problem of bridge collisions quite frequently on our website, but one spot in Stoke-on-Trent could have an entire news section all of its own. The Stoke Railway Bridge in Shelton has been hit a mind-boggling 43 times in the past 8 years alone, making it the 35th most hit bridge in the country, and Network Rail have decided that something must be done. As part of the country-wide What The Truck campaign, National Rail are approaching local councils directly to work with them on properly signposting bridges, in the hope it will prevent collisions altogether.


The campaign will be making sure signs are clear, visible and easy to read, even for European drivers who may only know their vehicle height in metric rather than Britain’s less commonly used but nationally-standard imperial measurements. As well as looking to get bridges clearly signposted, the campaign also urges drivers to know the exact height of their vehicle, putting the responsibility on them as well as the councils in charge of the infrastructure.

Low bridge LGV UK

Across the country there are an average of five bridge collisions every day, and the result is delays for motorists, a bill for the taxpayer, and a potential loss of licence for the HGV driver involved. In Stoke-on-Trent, a collision with the Stoke Railway Bridge can mean two days of repairs and diversions, causing headaches for drivers. Following a landmark bridge collision case in which Network Rail won back their costs of more than £80,000 – because the bridge was not properly signposted – they are now working with local councils like that in Stoke-on-Trent to make sure these costs can be avoided completely.

 

The worst hit bridge in the whole country is in Cambridgeshire, which was hit 18 times in a single year – an average of once every three weeks.

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