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Graffiti warning van drivers of problem bridge daubed overnight

PUBLISHED: 17:12 16 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:40 17 June 2019

Graffiti warning drivers to take care has been daubed on the Abbey Farm low bridge in Thetford. Picture: Damian Jermy

Graffiti warning drivers to take care has been daubed on the Abbey Farm low bridge in Thetford. Picture: Damian Jermy

Damian Jermy

Large letters warning drivers to be more vigilant have been daubed on to a Norfolk bridge that is one of the 10 most hit by vehicles in the UK.

Graffiti warning drivers to take care has been daubed on the Abbey Farm low bridge in Thetford. Picture: Damian JermyGraffiti warning drivers to take care has been daubed on the Abbey Farm low bridge in Thetford. Picture: Damian Jermy

The make-shift graffiti deterrent has been added in white paint to both sides of the low bridge in Thetford warning 'Low exit, no vans!'.

The bridge on Abbey Farm, close to Thetford Station, already has several official warning signs but it still struck numerous times every year with vans regularly becoming stuck.

Every time the bridge, which links Station Road to Mundford Road, is hit it has to be inspected for structural damage causing delays to rail services in and out of the town.

A van stuck under the Abbey Farm low bridge in Thetford. It is amongst the most hit bridges in the UK. Picture: Archant LibraryA van stuck under the Abbey Farm low bridge in Thetford. It is amongst the most hit bridges in the UK. Picture: Archant Library

Now the fed-up painter has added the unofficial warning in a bid to deter drivers of vehicles that are too high to fit under the 2.2m (7ft 3in) bridge.

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Local resident Damian Jermy, who spotted the new warning on Sunday morning, said: "After repeated hits over recent weeks, averaging at least once every week, an unknown person overnight took action as it causes money to police, railway and obviously commuters as trains can't go over until checked.

Signs warning drivers about the height of the Abbey Farm bridge which is near Thetford Station. Picture: Damian JermySigns warning drivers about the height of the Abbey Farm bridge which is near Thetford Station. Picture: Damian Jermy

"The last one was this week when a caravan got stuck. It has signs but people are oblivious to the incline and get into the bottom and continue through.

"I see the railway bridge in Ely was one of the worst hit in the region, I believe Thetford must take the credit for that now, maybe a sign 'Do not follow sat nav' could also be introduced along there although there are enough signs already."

Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire have the highest numbers of bridge strikes in Britain, according to Network Rail. A bridge on the A142 Stuntney Road in Ely topped the list having been hit 32 times in the year ending May 31, 2018. The Thetford bridge was joint sixth after being struck 13 times.

Network Rail, which is running a campaign to highlight the issue, said on average there were 2,000 railway bridge strikes a year, with each costing more than £10,000 for repairs and compensation to train operators for delays caused.

The campaign follows the shocking admission that 43pc of drivers do not check the height of their vehicles before heading out.

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