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4 hours ago, royaloak said:

Easiest answer then is to NOT issue any satnav and leave it up to the professional driver to find their way!

 

Just because the twatnav advises someone to go 'that' way under the low bridge or weight limit doesnt mean the driver has to, they have the option of ignoring the advice and going a different, safer, legal route or even, shock horror, using their eyes and seeing the issue deciding an alternative route might be a better idea.

 

Satnavs are merely a driver aid.

I properly set up SatNav or whatever, shouldn't be taking a driver anywhere near a hazard, that is the whole point. Next to useless, if it takes a driver towards such an obstruction and requires police assistance to correct the problem, i.e. reversing out.

 

But I agree, it is an aid which ought to make life easier and less hazardous to a driver.

 

BTW, this thread is about 'bridge bashing', but what sort of level is there of drivers realising their mistake and stopping short of actually hitting the obstruction? Hopefully significantly higher.

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I think one of the problems in the UK is that we do not have a statutory max height for vehicles but 4.95m/16' 3" is suggested for maximum access*

Bridge height clearance signage is only mandatory if it is less than 5.03 metres/16' 6" and some lorries that are built come very close to that figure.

SN00654(2).pdf

 

If we had enforced a lower height (say that of a bus) less bridge strikes would have occured, however that doesn't absolve the numpties who drive under lower bridges without knowing their vehicle height.

 

* Interestingly the US has generally lower height regs! (around 14ft but varies by state.)

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I have mentioned this before but topical here, a lorry sat-nav would have been very useful.

 

With a previous employer, I was having to do some deliveries in the 7.5 t to help out, it was one of the the very bad winters with a lot of snow.  The country roads were basically ploughed to a single lane with snow banks on either side, not much of a problem as not many people were out.   Anyway, turned off the main road, on to a narrow country road & after about a mile came to a longish single lane bridge, concrete slabs on pillars.  I didn't like the look of it, so stopped & considered it.  Decided not to cross as I was fully loaded (also it looked a bit too narrow for me), had to reverse back to the main road.  That was when I noticed the 3 ton restriction sign which had been uprooted by the snow plough, and was half hidden in the snow bank.  There was no other warning sign between the main road & the bridge, maybe it too had been uprooted.

 

Yes, I used my intelligence, but I am not a bridge engineer, so could have tried to cross it.  A sat-nav would have at least warned me in advance.

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Some interesting comments there. Having been in the bus industry since BR got rid of me in 1988, I'm amazed that no matter how much training is given to drivers, they manage to hit low bridges. At my company we must have lost at least 5 roofs in 8 years. 

 

One was a young driver who only the previous day had undergone the company's introductory training, including the bit about low bridges. What happened the very next day he done  wedding job in south east London, an area he knew well, his mum lived there. He asked if he could call in there on the way back to collect his AtoZ of London, before the advent of twatnavs. His mum lived by the low bridge off Southend Lane Catford. He found it the hard way.

 

Another driver on rail replacement had been doing the same job Saturday and Sunday, approach the low bridge at South Ruislip, turn before it into the station forecourt, turn round and go back. His 3rd trip on Sunday he was on auto pilot. Similar thing at Norwood Junction acouple of years later.

 

Double deck buses are normally 14'6 high, lorries can vary in height, so it is difficult for a lorry driver to know the exact height of his lorry.

 

TfL buses all have a built-in bridge warning in their tracking and Centrecomm radio, but still buses go under low bridges, n matter how much training and how many warnings are given. All low bridges are marked in imperial and metric so there's no excuse for foreign lorry drivers misunderstanding and road signs are much the same all over Europe.

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Until it was replaced, IIRC in the early 1980s, the Botley Road underbridge immediately south of Oxford station was a low bridge. The local bus operator, City of Oxford Motor Services, had two types of double-decker, lowbridge and highbridge. Of course, occasionally a highbridge vehicle would end up on a Botley Road route, with the inevitable loss of roof when it struck the bridge.

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Before my time, but Citybus senior driving instructor took a brand new 'decker coach down to Truro, the route down was via St Austell, but the route back was straight up the A30 to Bodmin, until he struck the bridge at Goss Moor. They had to let the tyres down to get it out and get a tyre fitter out on a Sunday to re-inflate them again.

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, royaloak said:

At which point white van man, 4X4 yummy mummy, texting Teresa or pissed up Pete (I think that covers everyone ;)) will run up the arris of the trailer using the 'I didnt expect it to stop as quickly' (non) defence.

EXACTLY why I said gradual !

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9 hours ago, roythebus said:

I'm amazed that no matter how much training is given to drivers, they manage to hit low bridges.

At one Company I worked for, it was the Driver Trainer who hit a low bridge once :rolleyes:

We always wondered what 'insider knowledge' he had over the Directors, why he kept his job, & wasn't sacked on the spot as would happen to anyone else, and did, for even lesser offences such as dropping a trailer 'on it's knees' - i.e. without winding the legs down first!! :nono:

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Just seen this photo (by Chris Stanley) on the AEC Routemaster Photos group on Facebook:

 

image.png.c988fded6ed826328c1253dc9f41ff75.png

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On 17/01/2020 at 08:22, caradoc said:

Until it was replaced, IIRC in the early 1980s, the Botley Road underbridge immediately south of Oxford station was a low bridge. The local bus operator, City of Oxford Motor Services, had two types of double-decker, lowbridge and highbridge. Of course, occasionally a highbridge vehicle would end up on a Botley Road route, with the inevitable loss of roof when it struck the bridge.

 

Indeed Oxford Bus Museum has several photos of this bridge over the years, with gradually reducing height restriction plates - every time the Council resurfaced the road, the clearance got less....

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Cardiff had low-bridge and high-bridge buses as well though I am not sure what routes the low-bridge ones were for; they seems to be used pretty indiscriminately on the 28 route. It also had almost unique single-deck trolleybuses for the route which passed under the main railway line just east of the station.

Jonathan

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7 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

Just seen this photo (by Chris Stanley) on the AEC Routemaster Photos group on Facebook:

 

image.png.c988fded6ed826328c1253dc9f41ff75.png

The husband of my late cousin would be very upset he was a gold badge instructor at Chiswick he and his colleagues prided themselves of turning out excellent drivers.

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7 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

Just seen this photo (by Chris Stanley) on the AEC Routemaster Photos group on Facebook:

 

image.png.c988fded6ed826328c1253dc9f41ff75.png

The husband of my late cousin would be very upset he was a gold badge instructor at Chiswick he and his colleagues prided themselves of turning out excellent drivers.

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9 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

Just seen this photo (by Chris Stanley) on the AEC Routemaster Photos group on Facebook:

 

image.png.c988fded6ed826328c1253dc9f41ff75.png

 

That looks like if they could get 100 volunteers to get on the bus they could probably drive it out...

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More unusual are bridge bashes by trains. there was an incident on the WCML in 1975 where a freightliner brought the wires down in Berko tunnel. The tunnel is single bore, there had been some ballasting and lifting work over the previous weekend. A Rugby man had the pleasure of leaving said tunnel with the wires wrapped round his cab. A lid on one of the boxes had caught the OHLE as the clearance had been reduced by the weekend's work.

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Wasn't there an incident in Australia where an out of gauge train hit a bridge?

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1 hour ago, roythebus said:

More unusual are bridge bashes by trains. there was an incident on the WCML in 1975 where a freightliner brought the wires down in Berko tunnel. The tunnel is single bore, there had been some ballasting and lifting work over the previous weekend. A Rugby man had the pleasure of leaving said tunnel with the wires wrapped round his cab. A lid on one of the boxes had caught the OHLE as the clearance had been reduced by the weekend's work.

The arched bridge on the Up side of Derby Road (Ipswich) on the Felixstowe line used to show clear scarring where oversized boxes had unintentionally increased the loading gauge a bit.

 

Andi

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12 hours ago, lmsforever said:

The husband of my late cousin would be very upset he was a gold badge instructor at Chiswick he and his colleagues prided themselves of turning out excellent drivers.

 

I do wonder if the road had recently been resurfaced, reducing the clearance n the bridge...

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6 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

 

I do wonder if the road had recently been resurfaced, reducing the clearance n the bridge...

If we're talking about the AEC Routemaster photo, the bridge has a clear sign on it stating 14ft clearance.

 

A quick google gives the height of an AEC Routemaster as 14ft 4&1/2 inch. Doubt it's a resurfacing issue  :nono:;)

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Wasn't the station canopy at Basingstoke damaged by a large container a few years ago too ?

 

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7 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

If we're talking about the AEC Routemaster photo, the bridge has a clear sign on it stating 14ft clearance.

 

A quick google gives the height of an AEC Routemaster as 14ft 4&1/2 inch. Doubt it's a resurfacing issue  :nono:;)

The design height of a standard RM is 14'2" according to Park Royal vehicles. RMLs were 14'0". all were labelled as 14'6" for safety reasons. M/y former RMC1462 managed Bedford Road Bridge in Clapham with no damage, but that had air suspension and may have been running a bit low. It didn't fare so well in Latchmere Road a few years later.

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10 hours ago, caradoc said:

Wasn't the station canopy at Basingstoke damaged by a large container a few years ago too ?

 

A Wakefield to Southampton intermodal had a highcube box loaded onto a normal height flat wagon instead of a lower deck megafret/FKA. I think the RAIB report said it wouldn't have fitted through the tunnels further down the line.

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3 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

Bring back loading gauges.... ;-)

If they did bring them back they'd be in an entirely different form. Probably laser detectors as sometimes used on low bridges to detect overheight vehicles. A system is already in use on London Transport to detect and prevent surface stock entering tube tunnels.

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23 minutes ago, PhilJ W said:

If they did bring them back they'd be in an entirely different form. Probably laser detectors as sometimes used on low bridges to detect overheight vehicles. A system is already in use on London Transport to detect and prevent surface stock entering tube tunnels.

 

What would a laser system do that a bit of metal hanging in the right place can't?

 

(OK I can think of one or two, such as being able to measure for the route the train is supposed to be taking, but on the surface it feels like making things high tech for the sake of it).

Edited by Reorte
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