Another Bridge Strike Bus v Railwaybridge

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PaxVobiscum

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I really can't understand how people can forget about the height of the bus they are driving.

When I did my PSV training way back in the 70s it was drummed in to us constantly how important it was to learn the dimensions of the vehicle.
I can still remember that the Glasgow Corporation Atlanteans were 14'6" but when I went to Alexanders the Fleetlines were only 13'8''. Even driving different vehicles every day when doing hires and extra shifts we didn't make mistakes like that. We were made fully aware that it would be gross negligence and could fully expect to be sacked and charged as well.

It's hardly a matter of failing to note a road sign - railway bridges are big enough to see.
 
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There once was a bus driver named Rebecca
Who came to be known as a wrecker
When the bridge was too low, she went in one go
from a double to a single decker.
 
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Not the first, and definitely not the last!!
Imagine you've been under that bridge loads of times with a single decker, car etc, and you are now returning your bus direct to the depot, and HOME time!!! Bang!
Now destined for Open Top service!! Blackpool?

Never been a bus driver, but next time I have a high vehicle trailer etc I will stick a large height sign on the dash to check at every bridge!
Caravan owners take note!

A clay lorry driver with over 20 yrs service hit a low bridge. He had used that route for many years - Dismissal was on the cards.
The union rep did some investigation, and found out that the road had been resurfaced, and the road was now 4-6 inches higher!! (Although the max height was still just within the sign) The road has now been lowered!
 

bluenoxid

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Why do I see some intrepid advertiser launching an advert "don't mess with the Sweeney"
 

BestWestern

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Not the first, and definitely not the last!!
Imagine you've been under that bridge loads of times with a single decker, car etc, and you are now returning your bus direct to the depot, and HOME time!!! Bang!

Now destined for Open Top service!! Blackpool?

It is clearly a relatively 'easy' mistake to make, bearing in mind that it happens a few times each year. In this case, the bus was heading away from the depot and into the Paulsgrove area, which would imply that it was en route to take up a service somewhere close by, rather than heading home. I'm curious as to which service it was destined for, as it is a very strict company policy that only single deckers operate on any of the routes traversing that road, for obvious reasons. There are only a few double deckers in the fleet (now one less! :|) so it is perhaps likely that the driver simply 'forgot' as it were, if he wasn't a regular on those vehicles.

As for the future of the bus, I would hazard a guess that it will most likely be cannibalised for spares and then scrapped. But you never know, it might get lucky and continue as an open topper!
 

trentside

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An operator in Lincoln operated some ex-Cardiff Leyland Olympains for a time. They hadn't been altered much since leaving Wales and the cabs still contained plates reminding the drivers of a couple of low bridges the vehicles wouldn't fit under. I haven't seen this on any other operators vehicles - though I know Yourbus put reminders on their Tuxford driver diagrams to remind drivers to use the centre of the road under Kirton bridge (the scene of a couple of de-roofings with previous operators).
 

BestWestern

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A slight variation on the theme, but one of my old diagrams which involved a journey on a minibus route specifically contained an order to "ignore any instruction to take a large vehicle", effectively allowing the driver to overrule any controller who had other ideas. Never seen that before or since (not that I tend to look at many bus driver diagrams these days!).
 

GearJammer

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It is clearly a relatively 'easy' mistake to make, bearing in mind that it happens a few times each year. In this case, the bus was heading away from the depot and into the Paulsgrove area, which would imply that it was en route to take up a service somewhere close by, rather than heading home. I'm curious as to which service it was destined for, as it is a very strict company policy that only single deckers operate on any of the routes traversing that road, for obvious reasons. There are only a few double deckers in the fleet (now one less! :|) so it is perhaps likely that the driver simply 'forgot' as it were, if he wasn't a regular on those vehicles.

As for the future of the bus, I would hazard a guess that it will most likely be cannibalised for spares and then scrapped. But you never know, it might get lucky and continue as an open topper!

Portchester is my local station i live only a few minutes away, pretty much ALL of First Bus services operated in the Portsmouth, Fareham & Gosport area are operated by single deckers, im not aware of any double deckers being based at the Portsmouth or Fareham depots that cover this area so i would go on the pretty safe assumption that this guy just forgot he was in a double decker and took this route out of habit, also the bus would'nt have actually hit the bridge, this bridge has a very large beam either side of it that prevents it happeneing.

Not a lot that can be said really other than s**t happens, hopefully the guy keeps his job, its not a mistake he will make again.
 

34D

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I really can't understand how people can forget about the height of the bus they are driving.

When I did my PSV training way back in the 70s it was drummed in to us constantly how important it was to learn the dimensions of the vehicle.
I can still remember that the Glasgow Corporation Atlanteans were 14'6" but when I went to Alexanders the Fleetlines were only 13'8''. Even driving different vehicles every day when doing hires and extra shifts we didn't make mistakes like that. We were made fully aware that it would be gross negligence and could fully expect to be sacked and charged as well.

It's hardly a matter of failing to note a road sign - railway bridges are big enough to see.

I have once almost done it - its called autopilot.

In my scenario I was driving a decker along a road where I've only previously driven cars, in fact a road near an ex girlfriends house.

I was almost at the bridge itself when I suddenly realised, slammed on, then did a 9 point turn. 14'6" bus and 14'3" bridge so would have probably gone under anyway.
 

BestWestern

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Portchester is my local station i live only a few minutes away, pretty much ALL of First Bus services operated in the Portsmouth, Fareham & Gosport area are operated by single deckers, im not aware of any double deckers being based at the Portsmouth or Fareham depots that cover this area so i would go on the pretty safe assumption that this guy just forgot he was in a double decker and took this route out of habit, also the bus would'nt have actually hit the bridge, this bridge has a very large beam either side of it that prevents it happeneing.

Not a lot that can be said really other than s**t happens, hopefully the guy keeps his job, its not a mistake he will make again.

Hoeford have a couple of these Olympians, they tend to find use on works or college runs etc I believe, though I've seen them a few times on the 17/18 circuit in Pompey. Obviously they're not diagrammed for any routes passing under the bridge! The driver in this case must have been going a fair lick judging by the fact he made it all the way under, so I'm guessing that having already forgotten his height he must have got a green light approaching the bridge and put his foot down....

I came across a copy of the local rag with another article about it, which said that the police weren't charging him, and instead he would have to attend a safe driving course - a very, very lucky guy. Many others have lost their PCV license over the same thing. Whether he'll keep his job is another matter obviously. Slighlty amusing bull**** in the same article was an 'estimate' that there was £50,000 worth of damage to the bus - which would be worth no more than £10k in the first place! Have to love journalists!
 

Pyromaniac

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I came across a copy of the local rag with another article about it, which said that the police weren't charging him, and instead he would have to attend a safe driving course - a very, very lucky guy. Many others have lost their PCV license over the same thing. Whether he'll keep his job is another matter obviously. Slighlty amusing bull**** in the same article was an 'estimate' that there was £50,000 worth of damage to the bus - which would be worth no more than £10k in the first place! Have to love journalists!

Sounds like the twaddle my local rag comes out with. £10k would be a generous assumption at most.

Still this bus will either become tin cans or become the new open top double decker for the 501 in Weymouth. IIIRC its the same reason E215BTA replaced the old VR.
 

anthony263

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Sounds like the twaddle my local rag comes out with. £10k would be a generous assumption at most.

Still this bus will either become tin cans or become the new open top double decker for the 501 in Weymouth. IIIRC its the same reason E215BTA replaced the old VR.

With the VR having spent the last two summer in use in Swansea.

We had a bridge strike on service X5 Swansea - Glyneath a few years ago involving one of First Cymru's last remaining Leyland Olympians which due do occasionally work the route however they use a slightly different route to get around a low bridge i.e drive 50 years up the road and go under a bridge which has enough clearance.

Sadly in this case the driver forgot he was diriving a decker and ended up taking the 1st turning under the low bridge rather than the next turning.

I am sure Mr Greenback may remember it being in the south wales evening post newspaper and on the bbc wales news about 3 years ago.
 

BestWestern

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Well that is quite a distance, so don't blame him for trying to squeeze it under!

:D Good spot!

I'm rather hoping that they don't decide to convert this and replace the afore mentioned VR with it, but who knows. On a different note, I'm curious as to how the front nearside widow pillar seems to have escaped unscathed while everything else at that height was flattened!
 

MCW

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Well.... that's made open top conversion slightly easier....

I was on Leicester City Transport 301 yesterday and it still has a plate with all the low bridges written on it, why can't today's companies do that? if they put one in the cab then there are no excuses to say they didn't know. Not saying that the driver in this case didn't know but like we have said, it's an easy mistake to do.

One happened a year or two back on Lancaster road in Leicester, Driver came from nottingham on route to the New walk museum with a school, took the roof back on that one as well! (and it was a dominator...) Luckily the kids weren't hurt But I don't think the bloke was in that company for much longer.
 

Pyromaniac

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I was on Leicester City Transport 301 yesterday and it still has a plate with all the low bridges written on it, why can't today's companies do that? if they put one in the cab then there are no excuses to say they didn't know. Not saying that the driver in this case didn't know but like we have said, it's an easy mistake to do.

Older double deckers usually did have these added, back before the big 5 took hold. Thinking locally the older double deckers round here still had warning signs about avoiding Southend Pier bridge which before it was raised would have deroofed them and still carried this after it had been raised.

I am aware that more recent conversions by Ensignbus can include Bridgeclear equipment which warns of low bridges.

Also might be worth adding to this thread, an Arriva bus on TfL 370 had an "incident" with Ockendon railway bridge last night.
 

BestWestern

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Well.... that's made open top conversion slightly easier....

I was on Leicester City Transport 301 yesterday and it still has a plate with all the low bridges written on it, why can't today's companies do that? if they put one in the cab then there are no excuses to say they didn't know. Not saying that the driver in this case didn't know but like we have said, it's an easy mistake to do.

To be fair, it's a requirement for all high vehicles to have a height plate displayed in the cab, and obviously all bridges have height markings displayed. Having a plate with a specific list of bridges and locations is probably just as likely to slip the mind :|
 

theblackwatch

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I came across a copy of the local rag with another article about it, which said that the police weren't charging him, and instead he would have to attend a safe driving course - a very, very lucky guy. Many others have lost their PCV license over the same thing. Whether he'll keep his job is another matter obviously. Slighlty amusing bull**** in the same article was an 'estimate' that there was £50,000 worth of damage to the bus - which would be worth no more than £10k in the first place! Have to love journalists!

I also noted from the Daily Mail article that it said "Police say the do not know what caused the crash". I would have thought that was quite obvious, even to someone who isn't a police officer. :|
 

Nym

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Years of being battered by branches made it used to a battering and more flexable making it deform rather than seperate? (It's as gooder guess as any)
 

Lrd

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Years of being battered by branches made it used to a battering and more flexable making it deform rather than seperate? (It's as gooder guess as any)
Does make some sort of sense but would it not be weaker and more likely to fail due to the bashing of the branches?
 

BestWestern

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I also noted from the Daily Mail article that it said "Police say the do not know what caused the crash". I would have thought that was quite obvious, even to someone who isn't a police officer. :|

Hmm, looks like they might have to refer this one to Sherlock and Watson! :roll:
 
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