Network Rail has urged HGV drivers to check the height of their vehicles following its worst year for bridge strikes in five years.
The rail infrastructure operator has launched a national campaign after making the claim and highlighted that it had eight bridge strikes on one of its routes in just seven days.
Network Rail said there have been 128 bridge strikes in Wales and Borders since April 2017, causing 8,809 minutes of delay to passengers and costing the taxpayer thousands of pounds in damages and delays.
Alison Thompson, chief operating officer for Network Rail in Wales and the Borders, said: ‘We need HGV drivers to help us make bridge strikes a thing of the past.
‘Around 1,800 vehicles crash into rail bridges across the UK every year. We’re encouraging drivers to wise up and size up their vehicles and plan their route before every journey.’
Bethan Jelfs, customer services director at Arriva Trains Wales said: ‘Bridge strikes can cause huge and unnecessary problems on the railway, causing real inconvenience to customers.
‘We will continue to work closely with our partners in Network Rail to get up and running again as quickly as possible afterwards, and support their public campaigns to raise road users awareness so they can complete their own journeys as safely as possible.’
Network Rail’s ‘Lorries can't limbo' campaign is aimed at professional HGV drivers and others who drive high-sided vehicles and focused on ‘four E’s’: education of drivers and employers, engineering and signage, enablement technology in HGV cabs, and the enforcement of penalties.
It said its research revealed that 43% of lorry drivers admitted to not checking the height of their vehicle before heading out, with 52% admitting to not taking low bridges into account when planning their journeys.