Thetford railway bridge among the most hit in Britain

Vehicles getting stuck is so common the community has suggested setting up a picnic at the bridge. T

Thetford's Abbey Farm bridge ranks 20th of the most bashed bridges in Britain in 2020/21 - Credit: Archant

A railway bridge in Thetford is one of the most-bashed in Britain, according to Network Rail.

The Station Lane bridge, in the Abbey Farm Estate, is among the 20 most hit railway bridges in the UK, with six strikes reported in the last year. 

It came 20th in a list topped by the Coddenham Road railway bridge, near Needham Market in Suffolk, which was struck 19 times in the same period. 

The data, compiled by Network Rail, revealed bridge strikes cost the organisation more than £5.5m in delay and cancellation fees in 2020/21.

Network Rail is urging motorists to "wise up, size up" as part of a new campaign to remind lorry drivers to take extra care knowing the height of their vehicles and choosing sensible routes to avoid low bridges.

The warning comes ahead of Black Friday and the Christmas shopping rush, which is a peak time for bridge strikes. 

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Bridge strikes cause unnecessary delays, costs and safety issues for road and rail users.

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"To compound matters, they drain public funds which should be used on upgrading and improving our network. 

“With Black Friday and Christmas fast approaching, we urge professional operators and drivers to properly plan their routes, know the height of their vehicles and look out for road signs warning of oncoming bridges.

"Drivers who chance it at low bridges are at risk of losing their license and Network Rail looks to recover the entire repair and delay costs from the driver’s employer.”  

Other bridges in the region which were highlighted by Network Rail included Stuntney Road in Ely and Ipswich Road in Manningtree

This is not the first time Thetford has featured on a list of the most- bashed bridges in the country.  

Between 2019 and 2020 it was hit 16 times and was ranked as the fifth most hit bridge in Britain