Transport Minister strikes out on bridge hits

14 November 2012
he newly opened £2 million replacement Chartershall bridge will help to reduce costly bridge strikes

“The newly opened £2 million replacement Chartershall bridge will help to reduce costly bridge strikes.” Transport Minister Keith Brown said today.

The Minister was marking last Friday’s opening of the new bridge and took the opportunity to highlight the £500k cost to the public purse from bridge strikes each year.

Mr Brown said:

“This replacement bridge will undoubtedly bring benefits, particularly to the local community including walkers, cyclists & equestrians from Sauchieburn Riding for the Disabled Centre.”

“But it is also important help prevent future bridge strikes.  That is why we continue to work with stakeholders such as road and freight hauliers, Network Rail, farming, ferries and ports, to remind high sided vehicle drivers to plan their journeys in advance and carefully consider bridge signs on their approach.

”By doing this, we not only reduce the direct costs from bridge repairs, but also the indirect impact caused by traffic disruption while works are carried out. This also enables us to ensure journey times are more reliable for all road users.”

The original M9 Chartershall Bridge was closed to traffic in 2006 due the damage caused by bridge strikes.

The Transport Scotland ‘Strike it Out’ campaign implemented in 2008 has been raising awareness of this issue to the haulage industry, as well as highlighting the cost to the public of repairs and delays. Since its introduction, there has been an 80% reduction in bridge strikes on trunk roads in Scotland.

Phil Flanders, Director Road Haulage Association (RHA) Scotland said:

“Whilst the number of bridge strikes compared to journeys made is very small they can have a very serious knock-on effect and the RHA fully supports the Transport Scotland campaign to increase awareness amongst drivers of high vehicles.”

Chris MacRae, Head of Policy – Scotland, for the Freight Transport Association, said:

“FTA supports this initiative to raise awareness and provide routing information for vehicle operators. The consequences of bridge strikes for safety and network disruption are severe. We work with Network Rail and other authorities in this area and will be helping to distribute the leaflet produced by Transport Scotland as part of this campaign.

“A main cause of bridge strikes has been an over reliance from some drivers on their sat-navs, which is why FTA worked closely with industry to produce a lorry-friendly unit. It is hoped that this will help end those all too familiar stories of lorry drivers coming unstuck after using sat-nav designed for cars.”

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