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New cameras for Suffolk’s ‘most-bashed’ bridges

PUBLISHED: 16:29 16 July 2020

There have been several incidents of collisions with the Coddenham Road bridge in Needham Market - such as this in 2010 when a minibus became wedged under it. Picture by reader  William Flurrie

There have been several incidents of collisions with the Coddenham Road bridge in Needham Market - such as this in 2010 when a minibus became wedged under it. Picture by reader William Flurrie

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Network Rail is to install special cameras at two low bridges in Needham Market which are among the most often hit structures in East Anglia.

The Bramford Road bridge in Ipswich is not one of those to get cameras fitted despite last week's accident. Picture: PAUL GEATERThe Bramford Road bridge in Ipswich is not one of those to get cameras fitted despite last week's accident. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The bridges at Coddenham Road and Hawkes Mill Street join bridges in Norwich and Ely on Network Rail’s “most bashed bridges” list for East Anglia and east London. Manningtree bridge does not make the list – and neither does Bramford Road bridge in Ipswich where a van on a car transporter became wedged earlier this month.

MORE: Bramford Road bridge hit by van on transporter

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Network Rail said the average cost of a “bridge bash” came to £13,000 once repairs and delays to rail and road traffic was taken into account.

The cameras will record traffic going under the bridges and will also focus on critical areas of each bridge’s construction allowing engineers to make a quicker assessment of any damage from a collision.

And it will also be useful in cases where someone has driven away after hitting a bridge.

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. 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 licences and leaving their employers with a hefty bill for repairs and train delay costs, along with a strong threat to their own operators licence.”


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