Vehicles keep crashing into a railway bridge in Swansea because people who live locally “keep chancing it”, it has been claimed.
Trafle Mill bridge, located at Victoria Road in Gowerton, which has a height limit of 3.3 metres, has now been hit a staggering 33 times since 2008 – three times since June this year.
Incidents this year include a Swansea Council bin lorry back in August, a GD Environmental van in June and a Kingsmill bread van in March.
It comes despite yellow signs with flashing lights being situated either side to warn drivers of the bridge’s height.
There are additional signs warning of the bridge’s height restrictions repeated along roads approaching the bridge, which is situated close to the town’s rugby club.
Susan Jones, who is county councillor for Gowerton, explained the feeling of frustration in the area concerning the ongoing problem.
She said: “It’s frustrating because it’s a very busy road and once traffic is stopped the whole area is in lockdown.
“I have sent a photo to Network Rail of a similar low bridge in Cheltenham where a sign has been put up and you cannot miss it, to highlight what could be done.
“I have spoken to the council’s highways department but they have said there are adequate signs in place.
“The sad thing is some of the vehicles that hit the bridge, the people who are driving them are from this area. They know how low the bridge is but chance it.
“It’s a difficult one, you don’t want to lose the bridge because it’s preventing high-sided vehicles from coming through the village.
“We’ve got enough of them coming from the M4 across the village as it is, it is very busy.”
2008 – 3 times
2009 – 3 times
2010 – 7 times
2011 – 2 times
2013 – 2 times
2014 – 1 times
2015 – 6 times
2016 – 1 times
2017 – 2 times
2018 – 1 times
2019 – 2 times
2020 – 3 times
Network Rail has indicated there will be more measures put in place to try and prevent further incidents.
Head of readiness and resilience for Network Rail Wales and Borders, Ray Charles, said: “Network Rail will continue to provide safety measures to avoid bridge strikes. Many investments have been made to upgrade and maintain our infrastructure.
“As a precautionary measure, we will install specialist equipment including collision beams to protect our bridges, funding of advance warning signs, CCTV, chevrons and sensors are just some of our mitigations.
“We continue to work with coach, bus operators, freight hauliers by providing support and guidance highlighting the dangers of bridge strikes through education, engineer solutions, enablement and enforcement.”
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A spokesman for Swansea Council said: “Road signs on all main routes approaching the bridge provide information to indicate height restrictions and also provide alternate routes for vehicles that should avoid the bridge.
“We welcome the additional measures being suggested by Network Rail so that the potential for collisions in the future can be avoided.”
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