Bridge Strikes at an Unacceptable Level

Regulatory action is 'a real possibility' for those not taking measures to avoid bridge strikes

The number of incidents where a vehicle has collided with a bridge has been a hot topic in the Commissioners' Annual Report.

As well as the potentially catastrophic road safety issues, there are huge financial implications caused by the repairs and loss of journeys, travel delays for commuters and major disruptions to other road users unaware of diversions.

Operators are being warned to take the issue seriously and take the necessary actions to avoid such dangerous driver error.

Some of the common causes of bridge strikes are:

• Drivers taking short cuts whilst engaged on “not in service” journeys 
• Staff with insufficient route knowledge returning a vehicle to depot
• Drivers taking a double deck vehicle on a single deck route
• Misunderstanding of road signs


To minimise the risk of bridge strikes, always:

• Know your vehicle height and width
• Know your route in and out of service
• Understand and obey traffic signs
• Carry out adequate risk-based assessments
• Provide drivers with route conversion charts

Network Rail has produced an invaluable tool for tool for operators, transport managers and drivers. The information in this document should be thoroughly understood and readily available. Click to read the Guidance on preventing Bridge Strikes

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