9:00am Wednesday 23rd January 2013
By Matthew Edwards
ANOTHER lorry driver found themselves in a tight spot after attempting to make it under a town centre bridge.
Wootton Bassett Road was closed for several hours yesterday morning after a 32-tonne lorry wedged itself under the Running Horse Bridge.
The 14ft 9in bridge has become notorious in the town for the number of careless drivers who fail to take notice of signs warning them of the low height.
Yesterday’s incident happened at around 9.30am, when the driver carrying a red trailer impacted with the bridge’s protection beam, but did not cause any damage to the bridge.
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “We were called just after 9.30am to reports of a lorry stuck under the bridge.
“It was a 32-tonne lorry and the road was blocked but traffic was trying to get around it.
“Nobody was injured in the incident and the lorry driver was out of the vehicle.
“The load was non-hazardous but it looks like some might have leaked out of the vehicle.”
Paul Corengia, of Old Town, drove past the incident yesterday and said it wasn’t the first time he had seen a lorry hit the bridge.
He said: “The lorry looked a mess. The trailer part of it looked awful. It was obviously just too tall and it’s taken the top of the lorry off.
“The traffic was all backing up around Mannington Roundabout and Wootton Bassett Road.”
Engineers from Network Rail, who are responsible for the bridge, were also called to the scene. The company has called on drivers to pay more attention to the signs that highlight the height of the bridge.
A spokesman said: “There was no damage to the bridge and the trains were not disrupted.
“We are aware that it is a problem, but I don’t know what the long term solution is.
“We do our best to try and protect the bridge by signposting it well. It is up to the lorry drivers to make sure they don’t hit it.”
A Swindon Council spokesman said there were adequate warning signs, including height signs fixed on the bridge, chevrons painted on it, and flashing electronic signs on the approach, which are activated by the height of the vehicle.
“The bridge is protected by laser beam sensors on the approaches, which detect any vehicle that is too high to go under the bridge and activate flashing warning signs to the driver. Vehicles are then advised to divert, either along Penzance Drive or Redposts Drive, depending on the direction the vehicle is going.
“There are also conventional signs on the approach, and a height warning sign and a yellow and black warning bar attached to the bridge itself. It’s difficult to know what more can be done to stop it happening.”
CATALOGUE OF CRASHES
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