The Derbyshire railway bridges most bashed by large vehicles

54 vehicles collided into railway bridges last year
The railway bridge on Matlock Road is the third most hit in Derbyshire | East Midlands RailwayThe railway bridge on Matlock Road is the third most hit in Derbyshire | East Midlands Railway
The railway bridge on Matlock Road is the third most hit in Derbyshire | East Midlands Railway

Two rail bridges in Derbyshire have been revealed as the most hit in the region by transport network East Midlands Railway (EMR).

Drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV), buses and vans are now being urged to understand the height of their vehicles, after the railway operator was affected by 54 bridge collision incidents last year.

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Bridge strikes continue to be a significant and recurring problem across EMR's network.

What is the cost of a bridge strike?

Money and time are currently being wasted through bridge collisions.

On average, each strike reportedly costs the UK taxpayer around £13,000.

In 2023, the top ten bridge strikes in EMR's region led to 3,325 minutes of delays alone.  

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In a bid to increase vigilance in drivers, EMR has shared the top 10 most-hit bridges on its network.

The list includes two bridges in Derbyshire; South Wingfield on Matlock Road (A615), and Bull Bridge in Ambergate.

Other hotspots include a bridge on Debdale Lane (A6075) in Mansfield, which has been hit 40 times in the last ten years.

If you drive a van or HGV do you know how tall it is?

EMR says research found 43 per cent of HGV drivers admit to not measuring their vehicle before heading out on the road.

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Just over half (52 per cent) admit to not taking low bridges into account. 

What are the main causes of bridge strikes

  • Going off route, including under diversion

  • Operating 'not in service' and taking a shortcut

  • Insufficient route knowledge

  • Those normally driving a single-deck vehicle, taking a double-deck vehicle - but still on a single-deck route

Michael Webb, Joint Head of Performance at East Midlands Railway, said: "Unfortunately, bridge strikes are a constant issue that affects our network each year. 

“Drivers and rail customers may experience frustration and delayed journeys.

“But a bridge strike has the potential to cause a train derailment with catastrophic consequences, as well as loss of life or serious injury to the vehicle driver, passengers, and other people nearby.

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"Those responsible for causing a bridge strike may be liable for costs associated with the incident, including the inspection and repair of the bridge and the cost of train delays, which can be considerable."

Top 10 bridge strike locations in 2023

The locations in bold are based in Derbyshire 

1. Mansfield - Debdale Lane (A6075) 

2. Kettering - Rothwell Road 

3. South Wingfield - Matlock Road (A615)

4. Syston - Fletton Bridge / High Street

5. Trowell - Stapleford Road (A6007)

6. Hinckley - Rugby Road (B4109)

7. Market Harborough - Scotland Road

8. Longton - Bridgewood Street

9. Sileby - King Street

10. Bull Bridge - Ambergate

More information regarding guidance for drivers can be found by clicking here.