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Repeated bridge strikes prompt newspaper safety campaign

The perennial problem of lorries being stuck under low bridges has prompted one newspaper to start a name and shame campaign.

The Grantham Journal is asking readers to take a photo or call reporters every time they see a lorry strike one of three low bridges in the town.

Managing editor Tim Robinson said: “It’s gone on for a long time and the level of bridge strikes has risen over time to a point where they are more frequent than once a week.

“Every time one gets hit it causes enormous tailbacks throughout the town.

“There are three or four main roads into town and they feed into one another. Once one closes it causes huge problems.

“I’m not sure if they stop rail traffic but they reduce it until the bridge has been inspected. It’s a big problem all round.”

The Journal made an appeal to readers – under the headline It’s a low bridge STOOPID! – to take snapshots with their mobiles and send them straight to the paper.

The story has also been picked up by the Mail on Sunday and Tim was interviewed for a BBC East Midlands Today report whose camera crew managed to capture a bridge strike on film.

Tim has already written to one company after one of its lorries was stuck under the town’s Barrowby Road bridge (pictured above).

He has also contacted Lincolnshire County Council’s leader asking that a plan to put up special height-detection warning signs be implemented straight away.

The troublesome trio of bridges were hit 62 times in 2007.

One of them was struck on 31 occasions, earning it the dubious title of Britain’s most hit bridge.

All three feature in Network Rail’s list of the top ten most struck bridges.

Much of the blame has been put on too much attention being paid to sat-nav systems and not enough to ‘Low Bridge’ signs.