Size matters for Ely's most bashed bridge which is now famous in Europe

PUBLISHED: 16:58 05 April 2019

Lorry driver gets stuck at the Stutney Road rail bridge in Ely. Picture; NETWORK RAIL

Lorry driver gets stuck at the Stutney Road rail bridge in Ely. Picture; NETWORK RAIL

Archant

An Ely bridge, that is the most bashed in Britain, is now famous in 51 countries after Cambridgeshire MEP Alex Mayer highlighted the problems in the European Parliament.

Ely’s Stuntney Road railway bridge has suffered a series of crashes by vehicles trying to squeeze under it despite exceeding height restrictions.

Now, the bridge has been part of a debate about road infrastructure, where MEPs discussed safety measures including how to prevent lorries and trucks from hitting low bridges.

One of the ideas is to have chains hanging on a gantry in the run up to the bridge to let drivers know if they are safe to go under.

Speaking in the Chamber in Brussels Ms Mayer said: “Britain’s ‘most bashed bridge’ is in Ely in my constituency, just down the road from my office.

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

“The nine foot tall bridge, has been hit 120 times in ten years and it is still getting hit despite its giant new warning signs causing delays for passengers and big costs in repairs for taxpayers.

“You can’t just try it for size when you are a professional driver in a heavy vehicle.”

The Euro MP says that as the new signs do not seem to be doing the trick, we need to learn from others and explore both high tech and low tech solutions.

She is suggesting the use of chains hanging from a gantry, prior to the bridge, which alert a driver if they hit the top of their vehicle.

The most bashed bridge in Britain Picture: ARCHANTThe most bashed bridge in Britain Picture: ARCHANT

The most recent bash was on March 4 when a lorry became wedged under the bridge prompting Network Rail to reiterate its ‘wise up, size up’ message to drivers of all high vehicles.

“Drivers need to know the height of their vehicle, not guess. In short: Wise up, size up,” a spokesman said.

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