Bridge strike

Driver re­ported after lat­est in­ci­dent

Hinckley Times - - FRONT PAGE - TOM MACK hinck­ley­times@reach­plc.com

AN HGV driver was re­ported for driv­ing with­out due care and at­ten­tion after a lorry crashed – yet again – into a low rail­way bridge on the A5.

High ve­hi­cles smash­ing into the bridge near Nutts Lane, Hinck­ley, has been a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence for years.

The lat­est in­ci­dent hap­pened just be­fore 10pm on Fri­day night.

Prior to that, the most re­cent in­ci­dent was at the end of Oc­to­ber.

In Fri­day’s crash, po­lice were called and found the 4.7m-high lorry trailer wedged un­der the bridge.

The cargo of card­board boxes was re­moved from the trailer, which was then ex­tri­cated from un­der the bridge.

Po­lice said the trailer was just a few cen­time­tres too high to fit un­derneath.

The Road Polic­ing Unit tweeted at 10.10pm on Fri­day: “If your HGV trailer is 4.7 me­tres high DO NOT try and fit un­der a 4.6 me­tre bridge... the con­se­quences of this cause mas­sive dis­rup­tion and will cost your com­pany a lot of money.

“Driver re­ported for driv­ing with­out due care and at­ten­tion. #knowyourve­hi­cle #RPU #read­signs.”

Half an hour later they thanked Crouch Re­cov­ery, which at­tended the in­ci­dent, and the pa­tient mo­torists stuck on the A5.

They said: “Ab­so­lutely crack­ing work by @CrouchRe­cov­ery staff tonight on the A5.

“Ev­ery­one work­ing re­ally well as a team and as quickly and safely as pos­si­ble to get the road open again and cause the least amount of dis­rup­tion to other road users.

“Thanks for peo­ple’s pa­tience dur­ing the clo­sures.”

In cases where such col­li­sions lead to trains be­ing stopped, tax­pay­ers’ money is used to com­pen­sate rail op­er­a­tors.

In an ar­ti­cle in the Le­ices­ter Mer­cury last sum­mer, David Bill, Le­ices­ter­shire county coun­cil­lor for Hinck­ley, said ac­tion was ur­gently needed to stop the wasted time and money, but nei­ther Net­work Rail nor High­ways Eng­land wanted to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He said: “These in­ci­dents have been go­ing on for the 40 years I’ve been a coun­cil­lor and on many oc­ca­sions they have dis­rupted the rail net­work as well as the roads. “Over the years this must have cost the lo­cal econ­omy mil­lions of pounds with all the de­lays.

“So far, there has been in­suf­fi­cient ef­fort to stop these things from hap­pen­ing.

“There are warn­ing signs but those are some­how not un­der­stood by driv­ers.”

A High­ways Eng­land spokesman said at the time: “The bridge is owned and main­tained by Net­work Rail.

“We do have sig­nage in place to warn driv­ers of the height re­stric­tions and are con­tin­u­ing to look at how we can help driv­ers be­come more aware of the risks.”

A Net­work Rail spokesman said: “We are aware a lorry struck a rail bridge in Watling Street in Hinck­ley.

“Bridge strikes cause sig­nif­i­cant de­lays to both road and rail users, as well as dis­rup­tion to the com­mu­nity.

“We share the frus­tra­tion of our stake­hold­ers that they hap­pen so fre­quently at Watling Street and would be happy to dis­cuss ini­tia­tives which would re­duce bridge strikes.

“When a road ve­hi­cle strikes a bridge there is a threat to rail­way safety and, as Net­work Rail is tax­payer funded, all the costs in­curred, in­clud­ing de­layed trains, are paid for by the pub­lic.”

LE­ICES­TER­SHIRE PO­LICE

PO­LICE AC­TION: A driver has been re­ported for driv­ing with­out due care and at­ten­tion after the lat­est crash at a Hinck­ley bridge

TIDY UP: A JCB clears up the cargo

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