Plea to lorry drivers after vehicle hit railway bridge and cut off line to Cornwall

It caused huge damage to the structure in Plymouth

Damage to the railway bridge in PlymouthAuthor: Sarah YeomanPublished 8 hours ago
Last updated 8 hours ago

Lorry drivers are being urged to take ‘better care’ after a vehicle bashed a railway bridge in Plymouth, which cut off the main line in and out of Cornwall. The incident caused disruption for thousands of passengers on bank holiday Monday. Network Rail says the Tesco lorry caused huge damage to the bridge, forcing the railway line that connects Cornwall and Plymouth with the rest of the country to close and causing bank holiday misery for thousands of travellers.

The truck was wedged in place for more than 24 hours before being removed on Tuesday afternoon after structural engineers made the bridge safe. Every day there are approximately five railway bridges hit by lorries, delaying thousands of passengers across the country. The annual bill for the careless driving comes in at around GBP20million.

It is these shocking statistics which has led to the latest plea by Network Rail for lorry drivers and haulage companies to take better care, know the height of their vehicles, choose suitable routes, and take notice of the height warning markers on railway bridges.

The lorry got stuck on bank holiday Monday

Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western route director, said: “This is happening far too often where thousands of passengers have their plans ruined by careless driving. “We are urging all lorry drivers and haulage companies to take better care, look out for the height warnings on all of our bridges and take a second to think before taking a risk and causing disruption to so many people’s lives. “Those delays are compounded by the huge bill which is often picked up by the taxpayer.”

Huge cracks appeared in the bridge following the bash

Richard Rowland, GWR’s deputy managing director said: “In the past 24 hours alone, our customers’ journeys have been delayed or cancelled by two separate incidents where lorry drivers simply haven’t taken enough care on the road.

“We will of course do all we can to keep people moving or offer alternative travel options, but these are entirely avoidable circumstances and they shouldn’t be happening so regularly.”

The lorry caused extensive damage

A spokesperson for Tesco said: “A heavy goods vehicle operated by one of our logistics partners struck a railway bridge at Ashford Hill, Plymouth which has caused the bridge’s closure.

We are very sorry for the problems this has caused for travellers and we are investigating how this has happened.”

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