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New warning to operators of bridge strike lorries

A NEW list of the 20 low bridges most frequently struck by lorries has been revealed by Network Rail, and almost half are in East Anglia. Operators of heavy goods vehicles are being warned that if their drivers disregard low bridge warniings the result can be a ‘hefty bill’ and even the loss of their licence.

Stuntney Road, in Ely, Cambridgeshire suffered 19 strikes and came in at number four on the list, which is an improvement since 2018 when it was named Britain’s most bashed bridge. 

Abbey Farm in Thetford, Norfolk, came in at number five with 16 strikes. The bridge at Stonea Road in Stonea, Cambridgeshire has suffered 13 strikes in the last year, meaning it has slipped down from second place in 2018 to ninth. This is probably because the road under the bridge has been temporarily closed since October 2019, when a vehicle strike caused significant damage. Finally, Coddenham Road in Needham Market, Suffolk came in at number 10 with 11 strikes in the last year.

The most struck bridge in Britain, meanwhile, was at Watling Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, where there have been 25 strikes in the last year.

Although the total number of strikes has fallen by 11 per cent, Network Rail described them as a ‘costly and dangerous concern’.

East Anglia route director Ellie Burrows said: ‘There is no excuse to not know the height of your vehicle before starting your journey.

‘As well as putting lives in danger on both road and rail and causing lengthy delays for passengers and road users, drivers who chance it at bridges are at risk of leaving their employers with a hefty bill for repairs and train delay costs, along with a strong threat to their own operator licence.’

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