Highways England has issued a statement in the wake of the Genoa bridge tragedy, seeking to reassure the public of the safety of the structures on England's strategic road network.
There are more than 21,000 structures on England’s network of motorways and major A roads, none of which are of similar is design to the Morandi bridge in Genoa (pictured below), which collapsed and killed at least 43 people.
The Morandi Bridge before the disaster
Highways England said it had a rigorous inspection regime for all of its structures - taking into account design, age and the likely maintenance needs. General inspections are undertaken every two years with more detailed principal inspections typically every six years, which involve close inspection of all parts of a structure.
Chief highways engineer Mike Wilson said: 'Our deepest sympathies are with everyone involved in the tragic bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy.
'We can reassure drivers that safety is and always will be our top priority. We have detailed design standards and quality control processes to ensure bridges are designed and constructed to provide safe and comfortable journeys for road users.
'This is supported by a thorough and regular regime for inspecting all structures, including bridges, on England’s motorways and major A roads and taking any necessary action to help ensure they stay safe.
'A very small proportion of our structures are suspension or cable stayed bridges but none of them are of similar construction to the one in Genoa. We’re committed to continually improving our network to make every journey the safest it can be.
'So when the causes of the Genoa bridge collapse have been investigated and reported, we will carefully assess any lessons to be learnt and will bring in any required changes to standards and processes.'