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The risk of bridge strikes

Bridge strikes continue to be 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 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.

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

Reported bridge strikes

YearUnderline bridgesOverline bridges

Some bridges over roads were struck repeatedly in 2015/16, with 26 strikes being reported at bridge XTD/134: St Mildreds Road (A205) in Hither Green, London.

The top 10 assets with greatest number of reported bridge strikes in the year ending 31 March 2016 were as follows:

Repeated bridge strikes

#RouteBridge IDLocationOS Grid referencePost codeBridge strikes in 2015/16
1South EastXTD/134A205 St Mildreds Road, Hither Green, LondonTQ 394 737SE12 0RL26
2South EastBTH1/1205A205 Thurlow Park Road, Tulse Hill, LondonTQ 318 730SE21 8JB22
3WessexBML1/2/29Lower Downs Road, Wimbledon, LondonTQ 239 696SW20 8QG16
4LNE & EMECM1/246A25 Barrowby Road, Grantham, LincolnshireSK 909 362NG31 6PE14
5LNWTTA1/106A624 Hayfield Road, Chinley, DerbyshireSK 052 824SK23 6DZ13
=6LNE & EMMVN2/230A636 Denby Dale Road, Wakefield, West YorkshireSE 328 193WF2 7TG12
=6AngliaBGK/1568A142 Stuntney Road, Ely, CambridgeshireTL 543 794CB7 4DY12
=8LNWWNS/3A5 Watling Street, Hinckley, LeicestershireSP 406 926LE10 0FY11
=8LNWBJW3/90A51 Upper St John Street, Lichfield, StaffordshireSK 118 090WS13 6HU11
=10WesternSWB/93 30A429 Kingway, Hullavington, WiltshireST 913 825SN16 0HW10
=10LNE & EMDBP1/15B5008 Repton Road, Willington, DerbyshireSK 293 284DE65 6BP10

Two or more bridge strikes were reported at 317 bridges carrying the railway over roads and roads over the railway in the year ending 31 March 2016.

Our Route bridge strike champions take the lead in managing bridge strike risk locally and can be contacted as follows:

Bridge strike contacts

Alex HamiltonAngliacivilsenquiryAnglia@networkrail.co.uk
David Dickinson/Jonathan McCannLondon North Eastern and East Midlands (LNE & EM)LNE_EMstructuressupport@networkrail.co.uk
Mark WheelLondon North Western (LNW)mark.wheel@networkrail.co.uk
Darach UrquhartScotlandDarach.urquhart@networkrail.co.uk
Stephen DelderfieldSouth EastcivilsenquiriesSussex@networkrail.co.uk
Mark PetersWalesWalesroutestructures@networkrail.co.uk
Gavin BaeckeWessexbridgestrikeWessex@networkrail.co.uk
Kevin LaidlawWesternwesternbridgestrikes@networkrail.co.uk