Thursday 11 Oct 2018
Motorists urged to size up their vehicles as Cambridgeshire railway bridge is hit for 15th time
Network Rail is urging drivers in Cambridgeshire to "wise up and size up" their vehicle and plan their route before they head out on their journey after a transit van was the 15th vehicle to hit a railway bridge in Stonea, near March, this year.
The bridge is Britain’s second most bashed bridge1 and sits on the line between March and Manea over the B1098 Sixteen Foot Bank Road. It has been struck by a range of vehicles including vans, high trailers and caravans, some of which have become stuck underneath.
The most recent incident, on 3 October this year, involved a transit van which became wedged underneath the bridge.
On 8 September, a car carrying cycles on top struck the bridge, and on 10 and 16 of July caravans struck the bridge. On 9 July, a trailer carrying machinery became stuck while being pulled by a pick-up truck.
With a height restriction of only 2.1m (7ft), any vehicle larger than a standard car is at risk. An alternative route, using the level crossing next to the bridge, is available for drivers in large vehicles.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “Despite being clearly marked, this bridge is being driven into by irresponsible drivers causing unnecessary disruption to railway and road-users. This can be avoided if drivers take the time to size up their vehicle and anything they may be towing before they set out on their journey. Don’t just chance it – anyone who is unsure should pull over to check the height or use the alternative route.”
To keep everyone safe, all bridges are examined when hit by a vehicle, which can cause delays to rail services. In some cases, it’s necessary to carry out repair work before reopening the railway line and road.
To learn more and about bridge strikes and how to report a bridge strike please visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/wiseupsizeup
Notes to Editors
- A142 Stuntney Road Bridge, Ely, is Britain’s most bashed bridge.
Bridge strikes are a significant risk to railway safety
A bridge strike occurs when a motor vehicle crashes into a bridge at a location where the railway passes over a road or the road crosses the railway.
Bridge strike incidents can cause death or serious injury to road and rail users and are financially costly to the vehicle owner and the railway.
After an incident the bridge needs to be checked to make sure it’s safe and debris needs to be cleared. This can cause significant delays to both road and rail users as well as disruption to the affected community.
Reporting a bridge strike
If a bridge strike occurs it should be immediately reported to us using the telephone number on the identification plate fixed to the bridge. If no plate is provided the strike should be reported to the Police by telephoning 999.
More information can be found at: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/looking-after-the-railway/bridges-tunnels-viaducts/risk-bridge-strikes/
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
Network Rail press office - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
020 3356 2515
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.