Please stop hitting our bridges, Network Rail begs lorry drivers


Network Rail has issued a plea for lorry drivers to stop hitting the same bridges...over and over and over again.

It comes as councils called for all lorry drivers who use satnavs to be compelled to use commercial models, following what the Local Government Association (LGA) called ‘a fresh catalogue of chaos on the nation's roads’.

Councils say some lorry drivers use satnavs meant for cars

The BBC has published a list of the road bridges on the rail network that were most frequently hit during 2015/16, with one bridge in London struck 26 times in a year.

The corporation reports one bridge on the list - over the A5 in Hinckley, Leicestershire - was hit again on Thursday, having been hit nearly once a month during 2015/16.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: ‘We can't stress enough how important it is that vehicle owners know the height and width of their vehicle and pay close attention to warning signs at bridges.

‘If you're not sure whether or not your vehicle will fit, you should look for an alternative route rather than taking a risk.'

The LGA said a minority of lorry drivers cut corners by using cheaper satnavs designed for cars, with villages and rural communities across the country blighted by a recent spate of lorry smashes.

Lorry satnavs include bridge heights, narrow roads, and roads unsuitable for trucks and allow drivers to enter their lorry's dimensions - height, width, weight and load – so they are only guided along suitable roads.

The LGA said it wants councils outside London and Wales to be able to fine lorry drivers who flout weight restrictions, suggesting the money collected from the fines would be used to tackle the national pothole backlog.

However, the Government remains reluctant to extend powers to prosecute for moving traffic violations.

LGA transport spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: ‘There has been a spate of recent accidents involving lorry drivers driving irresponsibly and causing chaos.

'The Government must start taking this issue more seriously and give councils the legislative tools to help their communities and other motorists.'

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