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  • The risk of bridge strikes

    Bridge strikes continue to be a significant risk to railway safety

  • The number of bridge strikes reported at our bridges carrying the railway over roads (underline) in the year ending 31 March 2014 was 1708. This is an increase (9.9%) compared to the previous year.

    The number of reported strikes at bridges carrying a road over the railway (overline) remained constant at 101.

    Each bridge strike, whether the railway passes over a road or the road crosses the railway, is a risk to the safety of train passengers and railway workers, damages bridges and may cause significant delays to train services.

    Bridge strikes can result in the death or serious injury of the driver or passengers of the vehicle involved, as well as other innocent road users. Bridge strikes are financially costly to the vehicle owner as well as the railway.

    A bridge strike can cause significant delays to the road user and disruption to the community.

    Reporting a bridge strike

    If a bridge strike occurs it should be immediately reported to Network Rail using the telephone number on the identification plate. If no plate is provided the strike should be reported to the Police by telephoning 999.

    Reported bridge strikes

    The number of bridge strikes at our bridges since 2000 (between 1 April and 31 March) are shown in the table below.

    Year Underline bridges Overline bridges
    2000/01 1613 111
    2001/02 1678 100
    2002/03 1914 122
    2003/04 1898 142
    2004/05 2020 152
    2005/06 1890 146
    2006/07 2020 126
    2007/08 2161 143
    2008/09 1736 115
    2009/10 1439 113
    2010/11 1593 98
    2011/12 1541 80
    2012/13 1544 101
    2013/14 1708 101

    Repeated bridge strikes

    Some bridges over roads were struck repeatedly in 2013/14 with 20 strikes being reported at bridges BTH1/1205: Thurlow Park Road (A205), Tulse Hill and TTA1/106: Hayfield Road (A264), New Smithy. Twelve bridges had 10 or more reported strikes.

    Bridges over roads at which 10 or more strikes were reported in the year ending 31 March 2014:

    Route Bridge ID Location OS ref Number of strikes reported
    LNW   TTA1/106 A624 Hayfield Road, Chinley, Derbyshire SK 056 816 20
    South East   BTH1/1205 A205 Thurlow Park Road, Tulse Hill, Greater London TQ 318 730 20
    Anglia   DWW2/227 Kenworthy Road, Homerton, Greater London TQ 362 849 17
    Scotland   STR3/164/207 A75 Dunragit, Dumfries & Galloway NX 162 570 16
    Anglia BGK/1568 A142 Stuntney Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire TL 544 794 15
    South East   CKL/17 (L1) Latchmere Road, Clapham, Greater London TQ 275 762 15
    LNE   ECM1/243 A607 Harlaxton Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire SK 911 354 14
    South East   XTD/134 A205 St. Mildreds Road, Hither Green, Greater London TQ 394 737 14
    Anglia ETN/1601 Abbey Road, Thetford, Norfolk TL 866 837 12
    LNW   BWJ3/90 Upper St John Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire SK 118 091 12
    East Midlands   GSM3/2 High Street, Syston, Leicestershire SK 621 119 11
    LNW   WNS/3 A5 Watling Street, Hinkley, Leicestershire SP 406 926 10

    Two or more bridge strikes were reported at 337 bridges carrying the railway over roads and roads over the railway in the year ending 31 March 2014.

    This list shows the number of reported strikes at each bridge listed by the highway / road authority:
    List of bridges struck between 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014 (40 KB)

    If further statistics are required for particular bridges known to have been struck, contact our bridge strike champions for the route:

    Name Area Email
    Michael Asare Anglia
    Thomas Brodrick Kent
    Mark Wheel London
    North Western (LNW)
    David Dickinson London North Eastern (LNE)
    and East Midlands
    Andrew Sinclair Scotland
     Stephen Delderfield Sussex
     Mark Peters Wales
     Gavin Baecke Wessex
     Kevin Laidlaw Western