‘It’s a running joke’ - Norfolk railway bridge among top 10 of most hit in UK
- Credit: Damian Jermy
A Norfolk bridge has been named as one of the most-bashed in Britain by drivers.
The Abbey Farm railway bridge, close to Thetford train station, is among the 10 most hit railway bridges in the UK, with 16 strikes reported from 2019 to 2020.
Coming in at number five, the Thetford bridge is known for being a hotspot for prangs and residents have even set up a dedicated Facebook page to name and shame drivers who did not use their “common sense”.
Thetford Town Councillor Brenda Canham lives on the Abbey Estate and said the bridge has become a joke in the town.
She said: “I have said for years we need to do something about it. It is always happening.
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“If you’re on Facebook it’s a running joke because every Friday a van would get stuck under it.
“We have even had school coaches go under and get stuck.
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“I think something ought to be done to block it off completely, make it a one-way system or just for cars.
“It’s down to Norfolk County Council and Network rail to sort it out but people need to use their common sense.”
This comes as part of the campaign, ‘Lorries Can’t Limbo’, launched by Network Rail to combat a rise in figures which show railway bridges are struck five times every day on average across Britain, causing almost half a million minutes of delays for rail passengers.
Reminders to ‘wise up, size up’ will feature on petrol pumps at motorway service stations across Britain along with posters, reminding drivers to check their routes before setting off.
Network Rail has worked with industry bodies including, Highways England, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and hauliers leading a Bridge Strike Prevention Group to ensure companies and their employees are provided with the knowledge and tools they need to avoid striking bridges.
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail said: “We’ve done a lot of work with partners across the industry in recent years to tackle bridge strikes, and whilst it’s encouraging to see our work is paying off with numbers now on the decline, there’s a lot more to be done to cut the unnecessary delays, costs and safety risks they pose.”
Most frequently struck bridges in 2019-20:
1. Watling Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire - struck 25 times
2. Bromford Road, Dudley, West Midlands - struck 24 times
3. St John’s Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire - struck 23 times
4. Stuntney Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire - struck 19 times
5. Abbey Farm, Thetford, Norfolk - struck 16 times
6. Thurlow Park Road, Tulse Hill, London - struck 14 times
7. Carlisle Road, Cleland, North Lanarkshire - struck 13 times
7. Harlaxton Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire - struck 13 times
7. Stonea Road, Stonea, Cambridgeshire - struck 13 times
10. Coddenham Road, Needham Market, Suffolk - struck 11 times
10. Lower Downs Road, Wimbledon, London - struck 11 times