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Our protocols for what happens after a bridge strike

Our response to a bridge strike is multi-faceted. We work with the police, highways authorities, hauliers and members of the public in order that the actions that we take are the safest for all those involved (including any potential rail or road traffic) and allow for the most efficient return to normal operating conditions. 

Police: initial actions

Police car blocking the road after a bridge strike, with Network Rail workers in the background

The police consider a bridge strike to be a potentially critical incident. Working with police forces, we have developed Police bridge strike protocol – initial actions (PDF), which details the roles and responsibilities of the respective control offices when responding to a reported bridge strike.

The protocol is a framework of key actions to be undertaken by the police and Network Rail so that all those involved in the response to a bridge strike can work together in a consistent manner and achieve high levels of safety, while minimising delay to the operational railway and to road users.

Strike at a bridge carrying the railway over a road

A Skip lorry crashed into a bridge

The protocol response to a bridge strike at a bridge carrying the railway over a road (PDF) has been developed in conjunction with highway and road authorities, police and fire and rescue organisations.

It provides guidance and advice to those involved in the response to a bridge strike at a bridge carrying the railway over a highway or road, and details the actions necessary to maintain the safety of the railway and public highways and roads.

Strike at a bridge over the railway

A lorry on it's side that has crashed over a bridge, with emergency workers at the scene

We have developed a protocol in conjunction with highway and road authorities and police organisations. The protocol response to a bridge strike over the railway (PDF) provides advice on the actions to be taken when a vehicle collides with a bridge over the railway causing significant damage to the parapet.

It details our responsibilities, and those of the police and highway and road authorities, and gives guidance so that both train services and road traffic movements can be restored safely while minimising the risk to the operational railway and to road users.

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