Ely no longer has ‘Britain’s most bashed bridge’ - despite being struck 19 times in the last year

PUBLISHED: 10:21 14 November 2020 | UPDATED: 10:21 14 November 2020

In 2018 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.

In 2018 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.

Archant

Stuntney Road bridge in Ely has lost its title of ‘Britain’s most bashed bridge’ - despite being struck 19 times in the last year.

In 2018 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.In 2018 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.

According to Network Rail’s countdown of last year’s 20 most struck bridges, it is now the fourth most bashed bridge in the country.

The bridge at Stonea Road in Stonea, meanwhile, suffered 13 strikes in the last year, meaning it has slipped down from second place in 2018 to ninth.

The rail company say this is likely because the bridge has been temporarily closed since October 2019, when a vehicle hit it causing significant damage.

Yellow Mercedes sprinter van - sporting the legend 'careful removals- hit the railway bridge at Stuntney Road, Ely, in the early hours of May 30th 2018. PHOTO: J RatcliffeYellow Mercedes sprinter van - sporting the legend 'careful removals- hit the railway bridge at Stuntney Road, Ely, in the early hours of May 30th 2018. PHOTO: J Ratcliffe

MORE: Camera system to be installed at ‘Britain’s most bashed bridge’

Network Rail added that almost half of the top 10 is in the Anglia region, including Abbey Farm in Thetford, which came in at number five with 16 strikes, while Coddenham Road in Needham Market, Suffolk, came in at number 10 with 11 strikes in the last year.

The most struck bridge was at Watling Street Hinckley, Leicestershire, suffering 25 strikes in the last year.

It was struck 32 times in the past year but the Stuntney Road rail bridge at Ely should soon lose its 'championship' title. Work starts on traffic lights next week once the bypass opens. Ppicture: ARCHANTIt was struck 32 times in the past year but the Stuntney Road rail bridge at Ely should soon lose its 'championship' title. Work starts on traffic lights next week once the bypass opens. Ppicture: ARCHANT

“In general, figures show railway bridges are struck five times every day on average across Britain, causing almost half a million minutes of delays for rail passengers,” said a Network Rail spokesman.

“Though there has been a 11 per cent decrease in incidents in the last financial year (April 1 2019 - March 31 2020), bridge strikes remain a dangerous and costly concern.”

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, added: “There is no excuse to not know the height of your vehicle before starting your journey.

This van has become the 115th vehicle to strike the Stuntney Road bridge in ElyThis van has become the 115th vehicle to strike the Stuntney Road bridge in Ely

“As well as putting lives in danger on both road and rail and causing lengthy delays for passengers and road users, drivers who chance it at bridges are at risk of leaving their employers with a hefty bill for repairs and train delay costs, along with a strong threat to their own operator licence.”

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.”

Top ten most struck railway bridges in Britain 2019/20:

The lorry stuck the country's most hit bridge in Station Road, Ely on Tuesday 28 July. Pictures: East Cambs Poilice on FacebookThe lorry stuck the country's most hit bridge in Station Road, Ely on Tuesday 28 July. Pictures: East Cambs Poilice on Facebook

1. Watling Street Hinckley, Leicestershire - 25 strikes

2. Bromford Road Dudley, West Midlands - 24 strikes

3. St John’s Street Lichfield, Staffordshire - 23 strikes

Van crashes in to Railway Bridge at Stonea.Van crashes in to Railway Bridge at Stonea.

4. Stuntney Road Ely, Cambridgeshire - 19 strikes

5. Abbey Farm Thetford, Norfolk - 16 strikes

6. Thurlow Park Road Tulse Hill, London - 14 strikes

The scene at Stonea Bridge at the 16ft in March this morning (October 21) after an agricultural machine – believed to be a carrot topper – struck the railway bridge. Network Rail engineers are now on site. Picture: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire The scene at Stonea Bridge at the 16ft in March this morning (October 21) after an agricultural machine – believed to be a carrot topper – struck the railway bridge. Network Rail engineers are now on site. Picture: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

7. Carlisle Road Cleland, North Lanarkshire - 13 strikes

8. Harlaxton Road Grantham, Lincolnshire - 13 strikes

9. Stonea Road Stonea, Cambridgeshire - 13 strikes

Lucky escape as this van hit the rail bridge at Stonea on October 15th just after 8am. Picture; SUBMITTEDLucky escape as this van hit the rail bridge at Stonea on October 15th just after 8am. Picture; SUBMITTED

10. Coddenham Road Needham Market, Suffolk - 11 strikes

Network Rail is urging drivers in Cambridgeshire to “wise up and size up” their vehicle and plan their route before they head out on their journey after a transit van was the 15th vehicle to hit a railway bridge in Stonea, near March, this year.Network Rail is urging drivers in Cambridgeshire to “wise up and size up” their vehicle and plan their route before they head out on their journey after a transit van was the 15th vehicle to hit a railway bridge in Stonea, near March, this year.

Lucky escape as this van hit the rail bridge at Stonea on October 15th just after 8am. Picture; SUBMITTEDLucky escape as this van hit the rail bridge at Stonea on October 15th just after 8am. Picture; SUBMITTED

A white van has snapped in half after hitting Stonea Railway Bridge – with a man slightly injured. Picture: CAMBS POLICEA white van has snapped in half after hitting Stonea Railway Bridge – with a man slightly injured. Picture: CAMBS POLICE

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