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Lorry crash confirms bridge barrier role

A BRIDGE approach crash barrier last week prevented another vehicle on the line rail disaster in North Yorkshire, after a 38t lorry veered off the A658 between Harrogate and Huby.

Approaching the bridge from the north at 3.23am on 29 May, the articulated lorry failed to make a sharp right turn on to the skewed Nab Hill Bridge, a known accident blackspot on the Harrogate to Leeds line.

It was immediately slowed by a steel box beam safety barrier on the bridge approach, but continued through a Railtrack fence, clipping the edge of the bridge parapet before coming to a halt.

The driver and passenger escaped unhurt, and no structural damage was caused to the bridge.

Neither was there any danger to the rail line itself, vindicating the barrier's performance.

'The barrier was installed in accordance with all specifications at the time, and the fact that it could withstand a sizeable vehicle such as this shows that it is obviously effective,' said North Yorkshire County Council (NTCC) highways maintenance manager Dave Bowe.

'In the light of the accident we have re-examined the barrier, found that it still meets current specifications, and have replaced it like for like,' Bowe said.

A risk assessment of all bridges across the East Coast Main Line is being carried out by its term consultant Mouchel, in response to the Selby crash (NCE 24 January).

This has led to NYCC prioritising four major schemes for completion within the 2002/03 financial year.

All repairs to Nab Hill Bridge and barrier have been completed, and the road fully reopened.

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