Network Rail urges lorries to be more careful after crash delays thousands

·2-min read
Rail tracks (Lynne Cameron/PA) (PA Archive)
Rail tracks (Lynne Cameron/PA) (PA Archive)

Network Rail has urged lorry drivers to take better care after a Tesco delivery vehicle crashed into a railway bridge in Plymouth causing disruption for thousands of passengers.

The company said that similar accidents occur “too often” and cost the taxpayer millions.

The vehicle caused heavy damage to the bridge on Monday and forced the railway line that connects Cornwall and Plymouth to close.

Structural engineers were called to make the bridge safe and the lorry was wedged in place for more than 24 hours before being removed.

Network Rail said the disruptions are likely to last for the rest of the week and advised passengers to check with operators before travelling.

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.

Mike Gallop, Western route director, Network Rail

The company said approximately five railway bridges are hit by lorries each day, and the annual bill for damages caused by careless driving is around £20 million.

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.”

Richard Rowland, deputy managing director for Great Western Railway added: “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.”

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