Camera system to be installed at ‘Britain’s Most Bashed Bridge’ in Ely
PUBLISHED: 11:57 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:57 17 July 2020
A new CCTV system to “reduce delays and cancellations” to rail services will be set up at one of Britain’s most bashed bridges located in east Cambs.
Stuntney Bridge in Ely was dubbed ‘Britain’s Most Bashed Bridge’ after being struck more than 120 times and was featured in the world’s news.
Network Rail plans to reduce the implications caused by the regular bridge strikes as part of a £190,000 investment to be spent across the UK.
Cameras will capture images of the bridge deck, allowing faster examination in the event of a bridge strike.
Structural engineers can examine the footage and damage as it was caused, which is particularly useful if the culprit has driven away.
The footage allows for quicker assessment that helps engineers get train services running again, meaning fewer delays and cancellations.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Bridge strikes are a significant safety risk and cause widespread disruption and delays for passengers.
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“While this new system will reduce delays, I can’t stress enough how important it is for drivers to know the height of their vehicle and plan ahead to prevent these serious incidents happening in the first place.
“Drivers who chance it at bridges are at risk of losing their licenses and leaving their employers with a hefty bill for repairs and train delay costs, along with a strong threat to their own operator’s license.”
Lorries, campers and caravans have all come off the worse after unexpected encounters with the unlucky bridge, which carries trains over the busy A142 – often due to drivers using sat-navs.
The 9ft tall structure, covered in bright yellow stripes and branded with the words “Very Low Bridge”, has been driven into at least 120 times since 2009.
Here at the Ely Standard we have written a fair number of articles about the bridge in question.
Bridge strikes are a costly problem for the railway and can cause delays to train services and on the road network while damage is repaired.
Most of the vehicles that hit railway bridges are Heavy Goods Vehicles and buses, at a cost of around £13,000 per strike – costing the UK taxpayer around £23m in a year.
The system will be fitted by the end of August.
For more information about bridge strikes please visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/wiseupsizeup
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