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New defences for bridge strike hotspot

Bridge defence

A railway bridge over the South Circular in London that was regularly struck by high vehicles has been given new defences.

Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) have worked together with Lambeth Borough Council and local residents to install a detector system to spot vehicles that are too high to pass through Thurlow Park Road Bridge at Tulse Hill.

The technology uses sensors to spot at-risk vehicles and sets off a series of warnings including six sets of warning signs with LEDs, along with signposted alternative routes.

“The location of the bridge, which sits just off the end of the platforms at Tulse Hill, means that it is impossible to make the bridge any higher,” said Network Rail route asset manager Mark Huband.

“This detector system sets off electronic warning signs to alert drivers they need to stop or turn off the road before the bridge.

“We’ve also put extra signage on the bridge to warn of its low height, steel beams to protect it, and we have engineers based at the bridge during peak hours to inspect the bridge quickly should we need to.”

Director of asset management at TfL Dana Skelley added: “Ensuring our roads are safe and reliable is a top priority.

“These new electronic signs will ensure road users know the height restrictions of the bridge – helping reduce disruption caused by the actions of some HGV drivers who seem to not notice traditional signs.

“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work so closely with Network Rail to achieve this novel solution to what has become a recurring issue.”

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