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Network Rail relaunches campaign to tackle bridge strikes as Grantham bridges named in nation's top 20 most struck

Network Rail has relaunched a campaign to tackle bridge strikes in Lincolnshire after new figures reveal the bridges on Barrowby Road and Harlaxton Road were bashed 21 times last year.

The ‘Lorries Can’t Limbo’ campaign will be rolled out to motorway service stations, reminding drivers to ‘Wise Up, Size Up’ before starting their journeys.

Before the Christmas rush begins, Network Rail is urging drivers and companies to know the size of their vehicles and to plan their routes in advance.

A lorry is stuck under the bridge on Barrowby Road. (29216679)
A lorry is stuck under the bridge on Barrowby Road. (29216679)

Network Rail will feature reminders to drivers on petrol pumps at motorway service stations across Britain, reminding them to check their routes before setting off or face losing their licence.

Across the country, the number of reported bridge strikes has fallen by an average of 11 per cent, however Lincolnshire lags behind that figure with no decrease in the number of bridge strikes across the county.

In fact, the number of times Harlaxton Road bridge was struck increased by 18 per cent. However, more encouraging news shows that drivers are beginning to heed the warning at Barrowby Road, as the latest figures show the number of strikes almost halving (47 per cent) from the previous year.

Harlaxton Road Bridge was named as joint seventh in the country's most struck bridges, with 13 strikes between April 2019 and March 2020.

Barrowby Road Bridge also made the list, ranked as the 19th 'most bashed' bridge in the nation, with eight strikes over the same time period.

However, there is evidence that similar campaigns in the past have had a positive impact on the number of bridge strikes in Grantham.

In 2017, Barrowby Road was fourth on the list, having been struck 52 times and Harlaxton Road was tenth on the list with 47 strikes that year.

According to Network Rail the Springfield Road bridge in Grantham wasn’t struck between March 2019 and April 2020, despite being struck 23 times in 2017, ranking as the 47th most bashed bridge.

The campaign has been relaunched following a letter which Richard Turfitt, Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, issued last month to all goods vehicle and Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operator licence holders.

The letter warned them that regulatory action which could result in the loss of their operator’s licence is a real possibility should they fail to take appropriate control measures to prevent bridge strikes.

Paul Rutter, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Coast Route, said: “We’ve done a lot of work with partners across the industry in recent years to tackle bridge strikes, however, there’s much more to be done.

“There were still far too many bridge strikes in the county last year, which caused unnecessary delays for passengers, as well as costing the taxpayer money. As Christmas deliveries ramp up, we’re urging all drivers to know the size of their vehicle and follow the guidance.”

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