Despite an 11% decrease over the previous year, Network Rail says there were still about 5 railway bridge crashes per day across the nation, at an average repair cost of £13,000 each. Of these, the company says that two thirds were caused by drivers misjudging bridge height restrictions. The Watling Street railway bridge on the A5 in Hinckley alone saw crashes almost once a fortnight on average in the year to end of March 2020.
As a consequence, Network Rail has written to operators of large vehicle fleets warning them they could lose their licence if they fail to have measures in place to minimise the risk of drivers misjudging height restrictions.
According to this article from the BBC, senior structures adviser at Highways England, Hideo Takano, said: “So to reduce the risk of this (drivers misjudging height restrictions) happening, we urge all drivers to follow these simple steps: Know your height, plan your route and secure your load.”
While this sounds easy enough, it’s evident that it is easier said than done as bridge strikes continue to occur with monotonous regularity.
As part of its bridge strike prevention drive, Network Rail has compiled data from every underline bridge that has been involved in a bridge strike since the year 2000. This data can be added to navigation and route planning tools such as our CarrierNet Hazard Avoidance Routing Tool (C.H.A.R.T.) which can then utilise the information to relieve transport operators of a lot of their driver-decision making load.
C.H.A.R.T. comprises a Driver App coupled with an internet-based software routing system which relevant management personnel can access and control through the browser of their choice. While it has many other benefits for transport operators, C.H.A.R.T.:
Helps drivers make better route making decisions as real-time ‘turn by turn’ routing and rerouting can be followed via the app. All drivers need do is confirm their details and those of the vehicle and C.H.A.R.T. will take care of everything else
Gives operators full control so they can manage transport ops better as well as have full transparency and documentation built-in
C.H.A.R.T.’s ease-of-use and real-time flexibility are made possible by being based upon a Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) platform which you can read more about here.
If you’d like details of the full benefits of C.H.A.R.T. please contact Bashir Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org