New signs for oversized vehicles cut bridge strikes by a third


Six electronic warning signs have helped Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) cut the number of oversized lorries hitting a notorious railway bridge on London’s South Circular Road by more than a third.

The signs from SWARCO Traffic work by detecting vehicles that are too high, prompting an electronic warning to be displayed.

Two of the signs some way ahead of the bridge in the far background

They were installed on either side of the Thurlow Park Bridge in Tulse Hill last summer.

Swarco said bridge strikes caused more than 218 hours of delays to Southern and Thameslink passengers between July 2015 and July 2016.

At one point the bridge was being hit on average almost twice a month. In the six-months before the new measures were introduced, there were 11 crashes. In the past six months, there were seven incidents, with only one in the last four months.

Mark Huband, Network Rail route asset manager, said: ‘Every time a lorry hits this bridge it causes disruption to thousands of passengers and this reduction is a step in the right direction.’

The full colour full matrix - providing a complete and variable range of colour and notices - signs use energy-efficient LEDs for enhanced visual impact and to give early and clear information, particularly for non-English speaking drivers.

SWARCO said its optical solution significantly reduces power consumption of the LEDs, which means that the service life of other electrical and electronic components is extended.

It added that the LEDs do not suffer from any decrease in light intensity or colour change throughout their life cycle.

The signs are integrated with TfL’s London Streets and Traffic Control Centre for full monitoring and control.

Khurram Khan Jadoon, senior traffic engineer at TfL, said: ‘Not only do they meet the demands of TfL, but the signs are highly reliable and feedback from the general public has been extremely positive.’

‘On top of this, the signs are variable so we are able to use them for alternative purposes to provide further traffic information to road users.’


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