The top ten most bashed and at-risk railway bridges across Anglia and East London will be fitted with a new CCTV system to reduce delays and cancellations to rail services as part of a £190k investment programme.

The new CCTV cameras will capture images of the bridge deck, allowing faster examination in the event of a bridge strike. Structural engineers can examine the footage and damage as it was caused, which is particularly useful if the culprit has driven away. The footage allows for quicker assessment that helps engineers get train services running again, meaning fewer delays and cancellations.

Bridge strikes are a costly problem for the railway and can cause delays to train services and on the road network while  damage is repaired. Most of the vehicles that hit railway bridges are Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and buses, at a cost of around £13,000 per strike – costing the UK taxpayer around £23m in a year.

The system will be fitted at the following bridges by the end of August:

Location

Address

Hockley

Greensward Lane/Spa Road

Wickford

Hawk Road

Needham Market

Hawkes Mill St

Needham Market

Coddenham Road B1078

Ely

Stuntney Road (A.142)

Ely

Saxham Station Bridge (Little Saxham)

Norwich (Trowse)

Trowse Swingbridge (River Wensum)

Camden

Randolph Street

Romford

South Street

Clapton

Leaside Road

 

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Bridge strikes are a significant safety risk and cause widespread disruption and delays for passengers. While this new system will reduce delays, I can’t stress enough how important it is for drivers to know the height of their vehicle and plan ahead to prevent these serious incidents happening in the first place.

“Drivers who chance it at bridges are at risk of losing their licenses and leaving their employers with a hefty bill for repairs and train delay costs, along with a strong threat to their own operators licence.”

For more information about bridge strikes please visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/wiseupsizeup

 

Notes to editors:

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 any 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/