Traffic chaos in Swindon after 32-tonne truck gets wedged under bashed bridge

This Is Wiltshire: The lorry wedged under the Running Horse Bridge at Wootton Bassett Road Buy this photo » The lorry wedged under the Running Horse Bridge at Wootton Bassett Road

ANOTHER lorry driver found themselves in a tight spot after attempting to make it under a town centre bridge.

Wootton Bassett Road was closed for several hours yesterday morning after a 32-tonne lorry wedged itself under the Running Horse Bridge.

The 14ft 9in bridge has become notorious in the town for the number of careless drivers who fail to take notice of signs warning them of the low height.

Yesterday’s incident happened at around 9.30am, when the driver carrying a red trailer impacted with the bridge’s protection beam, but did not cause any damage to the bridge.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “We were called just after 9.30am to reports of a lorry stuck under the bridge.

“It was a 32-tonne lorry and the road was blocked but traffic was trying to get around it.

“Nobody was injured in the incident and the lorry driver was out of the vehicle.

“The load was non-hazardous but it looks like some might have leaked out of the vehicle.”

Paul Corengia, of Old Town, drove past the incident yesterday and said it wasn’t the first time he had seen a lorry hit the bridge.

He said: “The lorry looked a mess. The trailer part of it looked awful. It was obviously just too tall and it’s taken the top of the lorry off.

“The traffic was all backing up around Mannington Roundabout and Wootton Bassett Road.”

Engineers from Network Rail, who are responsible for the bridge, were also called to the scene. The company has called on drivers to pay more attention to the signs that highlight the height of the bridge.

A spokesman said: “There was no damage to the bridge and the trains were not disrupted.

“We are aware that it is a problem, but I don’t know what the long term solution is.

“We do our best to try and protect the bridge by signposting it well. It is up to the lorry drivers to make sure they don’t hit it.”

A Swindon Council spokesman said there were adequate warning signs, including height signs fixed on the bridge, chevrons painted on it, and flashing electronic signs on the approach, which are activated by the height of the vehicle.

“The bridge is protected by laser beam sensors on the approaches, which detect any vehicle that is too high to go under the bridge and activate flashing warning signs to the driver. Vehicles are then advised to divert, either along Penzance Drive or Redposts Drive, depending on the direction the vehicle is going.

“There are also conventional signs on the approach, and a height warning sign and a yellow and black warning bar attached to the bridge itself. It’s difficult to know what more can be done to stop it happening.”

CATALOGUE OF CRASHES

  • July 9, 2012: Police closed the road in both directions for at least two hours after an articulated lorry carrying a cherrypicker hit the structure at 12.45pm, causing its load to fall off.
  • December 10, 2011: The driver of a DHL lorry underestimated the height of his vehicle, causing traffic mayhem when it became wedged under the bridge. Queues of traffic built up after the incident as the road was reduced to a single lane. It was later completely closed while emergency services worked to remove the lorry, which was travelling from the Kingshill direction.
  • April 1, 2011: Another lorry driver misjudged the height of the bridge, causing rush hour traffic chaos. The lorry, which was carrying insulation materials, was travelling from the Mannington roundabout and ended up on its side.
  • November 24, 2011: A lorry driver found himself slapped with an £80 fine after getting his load wedged under the bridge. The Wilkinson’s lorry became stuck shortly after 1pm and caused delays until it was freed at 1.30pm. The driver was given a fixed penalty notice by police officers at the scene for not heeding the warning signs.
  • September 4, 2010: Porridge lovers went hungry after a lorry driver spilt their breakfast on to Wootton Bassett Road. The driver of a 44-ton lorry, which was carrying hundreds of boxes of Ready Brek, was caught out by the low railway bridge at 7.25am.
  • August 2, 2010: An Interlink Express lorry lost a chunk off its roof after colliding with the railway bridge on Wootton Bassett Road at 8.30pm on Monday.

Comments (12)

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9:19am Wed 23 Jan 13

StillPav says...

Do the eletronic signs actually work? Half the time they seem to be flashing at every car going past, the rest of the time they don't seem to do anything.
Do the eletronic signs actually work? Half the time they seem to be flashing at every car going past, the rest of the time they don't seem to do anything. StillPav

9:28am Wed 23 Jan 13

mr_fix_it says...

Those electronic signs clearly don't work. Just because the are "hi-tech" and have the work laser in them doesn't mean they are effective. Why not just have some of those hanging warning bars that vehicles hit before reaching the bridge. Low-tech, but effective. Probably a lot cheaper too!
Those electronic signs clearly don't work. Just because the are "hi-tech" and have the work laser in them doesn't mean they are effective. Why not just have some of those hanging warning bars that vehicles hit before reaching the bridge. Low-tech, but effective. Probably a lot cheaper too! mr_fix_it

9:50am Wed 23 Jan 13

DLP OldTown says...

Brilliant idea Mr Fix it. Good old fashioned solutions are too simple for the 'bod' sat in an office paid mega bucks to come up with hi tech ideas that never work. perhaps you should offer your services.
Brilliant idea Mr Fix it. Good old fashioned solutions are too simple for the 'bod' sat in an office paid mega bucks to come up with hi tech ideas that never work. perhaps you should offer your services. DLP OldTown

10:43am Wed 23 Jan 13

dglaholm says...

Perhaps the flashing sgn should be attatched to the bridge ..Right across so drivers can see it better
Perhaps the flashing sgn should be attatched to the bridge ..Right across so drivers can see it better dglaholm

11:28am Wed 23 Jan 13

StillPav says...

I can imagine someone in a council meeting demanding signs with "frinkin' laser beams".
I can imagine someone in a council meeting demanding signs with "frinkin' laser beams". StillPav

12:19pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Hmmmf says...

Countless thousands of lorry drivers observe the existing warning signs and don't hit the bridge. Ban the drivers who fail to notice the numerous warning signs and do hit the bridge, they're clearly a danger to themselves as well as other road and railway users.
Countless thousands of lorry drivers observe the existing warning signs and don't hit the bridge. Ban the drivers who fail to notice the numerous warning signs and do hit the bridge, they're clearly a danger to themselves as well as other road and railway users. Hmmmf

12:29pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Tim Newroman says...

Any lorry driver who doesn't know the height of the lorry they're driving and whether or not it'll pass under a given bridge should not be driving lorries.

Unfortunately, many of the drivers that end up in these accidents are foreign drivers.


Foreign lorry drivers are putting lives at risk by overworking, using vehicles with serious faults and overloading their trucks, a police chief has said.

Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman Ch Supt Geraint Anwyl said EU expansion had made the situation worse.

The police and the Vehicle and Operators Service Agency (VOSA), which checks that lorries are safe, said there were serious problems with drivers and lorries from both Britain and abroad, but that those from abroad were statistically more dangerous



Proposals to charge foreign lorry drivers to use British roads won’t even cover half of what their accidents cost the UK economy, says one prevalent accident management company.

The Government is currently toying with the idea of charging foreign lorry drivers a £10 daily tariff or £1,000 annual pass to drive in Britain, a measure set to reap £23m by 2016.

However, accidents caused by foreign lorry drivers currently hit British taxpayers to the tune of around £57m, so say Accident Exchange, and that sum is expected to rise.

From the accidents handled by Accident Exchange, accidents where foreign lorry drivers were at fault jumped by 30% in 2011 on the 12 months previous.
Any lorry driver who doesn't know the height of the lorry they're driving and whether or not it'll pass under a given bridge should not be driving lorries. [p] Unfortunately, many of the drivers that end up in these accidents are foreign drivers. [p] [quote] Foreign lorry drivers are putting lives at risk by overworking, using vehicles with serious faults and overloading their trucks, a police chief has said. [p] Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman Ch Supt Geraint Anwyl said EU expansion had made the situation worse. [p] The police and the Vehicle and Operators Service Agency (VOSA), which checks that lorries are safe, said there were serious problems with drivers and lorries from both Britain and abroad, but that those from abroad were statistically more dangerous [/quote] [p] [quote] Proposals to charge foreign lorry drivers to use British roads won’t even cover half of what their accidents cost the UK economy, says one prevalent accident management company. [p] The Government is currently toying with the idea of charging foreign lorry drivers a £10 daily tariff or £1,000 annual pass to drive in Britain, a measure set to reap £23m by 2016. [p] However, accidents caused by foreign lorry drivers currently hit British taxpayers to the tune of around £57m, so say Accident Exchange, and that sum is expected to rise. [p] From the accidents handled by Accident Exchange, accidents where foreign lorry drivers were at fault jumped by 30% in 2011 on the 12 months previous. [/quote] Tim Newroman

1:02pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Davey Gravey says...

Road signs are clear for that bridge so the fault is solely with the driver. Looks a 38ton to me too(being pedantic)
Road signs are clear for that bridge so the fault is solely with the driver. Looks a 38ton to me too(being pedantic) Davey Gravey

1:24pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Tim Newroman says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Road signs are clear for that bridge so the fault is solely with the driver. Looks a 38ton to me too(being pedantic)
On the phone, or asleep, most likely.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Road signs are clear for that bridge so the fault is solely with the driver. Looks a 38ton to me too(being pedantic)[/p][/quote]On the phone, or asleep, most likely. Tim Newroman

1:28pm Wed 23 Jan 13

The Real Librarian says...

mr_fix_it wrote:
Those electronic signs clearly don't work. Just because the are "hi-tech" and have the work laser in them doesn't mean they are effective. Why not just have some of those hanging warning bars that vehicles hit before reaching the bridge. Low-tech, but effective. Probably a lot cheaper too!
Just shoot the drivers that hit the bridge.

It deals with repeat offenders
[quote][p][bold]mr_fix_it[/bold] wrote: Those electronic signs clearly don't work. Just because the are "hi-tech" and have the work laser in them doesn't mean they are effective. Why not just have some of those hanging warning bars that vehicles hit before reaching the bridge. Low-tech, but effective. Probably a lot cheaper too![/p][/quote]Just shoot the drivers that hit the bridge. It deals with repeat offenders The Real Librarian

2:26pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Davey Gravey says...

Tim Newroman wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Road signs are clear for that bridge so the fault is solely with the driver. Looks a 38ton to me too(being pedantic)
On the phone, or asleep, most likely.
Unaware of his vehicles height I suspect
[quote][p][bold]Tim Newroman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Road signs are clear for that bridge so the fault is solely with the driver. Looks a 38ton to me too(being pedantic)[/p][/quote]On the phone, or asleep, most likely.[/p][/quote]Unaware of his vehicles height I suspect Davey Gravey

6:06pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Tim Newroman says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Tim Newroman wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Road signs are clear for that bridge so the fault is solely with the driver. Looks a 38ton to me too(being pedantic)
On the phone, or asleep, most likely.
Unaware of his vehicles height I suspect
That's even worse.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tim Newroman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Road signs are clear for that bridge so the fault is solely with the driver. Looks a 38ton to me too(being pedantic)[/p][/quote]On the phone, or asleep, most likely.[/p][/quote]Unaware of his vehicles height I suspect[/p][/quote]That's even worse. Tim Newroman

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