A bridge too far: Three bridge strikes in two days in East London and Norfolk

Network Rail Anglia is urging HGV drivers in East London and Norfolk to check the height of their vehicles and to better plan their journeys following three bridge strikes in just two days.

On 26 February, lorries struck rail bridges in Leytonstone and Walthamstow. There was a third strike on 27 February in North Walsham, Norfolk.

A lorry struck the bridge at Grove Green Road in Leytonstone at 11.15am. Train services on the Barking to Gospel Oak line were disrupted for over 30 minutes.

Later that day, a lorry struck a bridge at 7pm on Wood Street in Walthamstow. Train services between Walthamstow and Chingford were disrupted for almost an hour and a half while Network Rail examined the damage.

On 27 February, a lorry struck a bridge on Norwich Road in North Walsham, Norfolk at 10.34am, causing minor damage to the bridge and disrupting train services for over an hour.

In all three incidents, the lorries became stuck underneath the bridge but fortunately there were no injuries.

Since 1 January 2019, there have been 20 bridge strikes across the Anglia route leading to 851 minutes of delayed trains.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Bridge strikes are completely avoidable, they cost the taxpayer millions of pounds and delay thousands of passengers and road users every year.

“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.”

To combat bridge strikes, Network Rail recently launched ‘Lorries can’t limbo’ – a campaign aimed at professional HGV drivers and others who drive high-sided vehicles. 

To learn more about the campaign visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/safety-in-the-community/safety-campaigns/wise-up-size-up/