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Network Rail warns over bridge strikes by trucks

Network Rail has warned lorry drivers to know the height of their vehicles after repeated bridge strikes forced a road in Birmingham, UK, to close for five months while complex repairs are made

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Network Rail warns over bridge strikes by trucks

The bridge (pictured left) carries the railway over Landor Street in the Bordesley Green area of the city. It has been hit no less than 32 times since 2009. That was when a special collision protection beam was fitted to reinforce the bridge, but it too now has to be replaced.


After 10 years of continual bridge bashes the beam was damaged beyond repair on 9th January this year, prompting an emergency road closure. Engineers are designing a new steel protection beam before refitting it. Network Rail is aiming to complete its repairs and reopen the road in late July.

Aftermath of a rail bridge strike by a container truck in Erdington. (Photo: Birmingham Mail)
Aftermath of a rail bridge strike by a container truck in Erdington. (Photo: Birmingham Mail)

Piers Burford, project manager for Network Rail, said: “Bridge strikes are entirely avoidable, cost taxpayers millions of pounds and cause delays to tens of thousands of rail passengers every year.


"The closure of Landor Street has also caused motorists and businesses in the area considerable disruption throughout 2019.”


On average, says Network Rail, five entirely avoidable railway bridge strikes take place every day across Britain, costing the taxpayer £23M a year. It cites research findings that 43% of lorry drivers admit they do not measure their vehicle before heading out on the road, while 52% admit they do not take low bridges into account.


Over two years ago the Local Government Association called for a change in the law regarding satnavs, warning that too many truckers were using maps designed for passenger cars.

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