Hook Rd, Epsom - Bridge Strike: Dashcam Footage (21/05/21)

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4COR

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Surrey Road Policing Unit (@SurreyRoadCops) have tweeted some dashcam footage of the bridge strike last Fri (21st May 2021) - here's the aftermath (which apparently a lot of people blamed on the Sprinter driver not giving way/being in the centre of the road...):

E17WJehXIAIQXdD.jpg
(Image from @SurreyRoadCops twitter feed of lorry tilted on right hand wheels under bridge, leaning on Sprinter van, also on two wheels)

The video clears up that the Sprinter driver was doing nothing wrong - certainly makes for a brown trouser moment for both the occupant of the car with the dashcam, and for the poor (Waitrose) Sprinter driver in front...


(sorry - I'm not sure it's possible to embed the tweet on here directly)
 
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Wilts Wanderer

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Out of interest does the height restriction on an arched bridge refer to the centre of the arch?
 

zwk500

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Out of interest does the height restriction on an arched bridge refer to the centre of the arch?
I suspect it refers to the height over the width of the road lane - in the photo in the OP there are 2 restrictions, apparently one for the 2-way traffic and one for the central markings (which obviously prevents oncoming traffic).
 

4COR

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On that bridge, there are two height restrictions on the bridge itself - the sign in the lead up to it has the larger restriction alone, but the arch indicates the width of the two different headrooms available. (Plus the "HIGH VEHS" road paint road markings).

Here's the streetviews on approach :

Screenshot 2021-05-25 144601.png
Screenshot 2021-05-25 144431.png
 

tellytype

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One of our members lives just round the corner from that bridge, I"m sure he will be along in a minute...
 

Peter Mugridge

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One of our members lives just round the corner from that bridge, I"m sure he will be along in a minute...
That's me...

Firstly, before anything else, the thread title needs correcting. It's Hook Road, not East Street.

This particular bridge has a history of being struck; this is the third HGV to end up at that exact angle at that exact location in recent years. We've also had at least one convertible double decker bus there.

These articulated bulk tipper lorries, incidentally, use that route as part of a contract with the council. Just round the corner in the other direction is the local tip in Longmead - this particular lorry would have been running empty to collect a load of trash to be moved out from there. Both the empty and loaded runs use this bridge - it is their designated route as part of their contract, and there are multiple moves each day.

Funnily enough, this is also the bridge about which I had a thread running last year in connection with some major roadworks taking place under it. https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/victorian-arch-bridges.191492/
 
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alf

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The driver of the vehicle with the dash cam is lucky to be alive.
If he had pulled up, as I would have done, right behind the stationary white van instead of leaving a gap he would have had the lorry cab in his face. Thank goodness he left a gap.
 

swt_passenger

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Out of interest does the height restriction on an arched bridge refer to the centre of the arch?
On an arched bridge there should be a set of white lines known as “chord markings”, centred on the warning sign, the default width for them is 3m. Or, put another way, the height restriction is designed to allow for a 3m wide vehicle approaching in the correct alignment.
 
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Ediswan

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On an arched bridge there should be a set of white lines known as “chord markings”, centred on the warning sign, the default width for them is 3m. Or, put another way, the height restriction is designed to allow for a 3m wide vehicle approaching in the correct alignment.
It looks like there were, but have not been maintained.
 

D6130

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I have advocated for many years that all rail-over-road bridges in the UK with height limits for road vehicles should be protected on each side by heavy steel gantries across the roadway, as happens in a number of European countries, including Belgium and - I think - the Netherlands. By doing so, overheight trucks, buses, etc. would demolish themselves on the gantry and leave the bridge undamaged.....thus allowing rail traffic to continue running without disruption.
 

Ediswan

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The driver of the vehicle with the dash cam is lucky to be alive.
If he had pulled up, as I would have done, right behind the stationary white van instead of leaving a gap he would have had the lorry cab in his face. Thank goodness he left a gap.
A similar incident with an angled bridge where the exact position of an oncoming vehicle avoided a more serious outcome:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-37701913
In this case it was a stack of skips that got swept off a truck into the oncoming traffic rather then the truck itself tipping.
 

zwk500

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I have advocated for many years that all rail-over-road bridges in the UK with height limits for road vehicles should be protected on each side by heavy steel gantries across the roadway, as happens in a number of European countries, including Belgium and - I think - the Netherlands. By doing so, overheight trucks, buses, etc. would demolish themselves on the gantry and leave the bridge undamaged.....thus allowing rail traffic to continue running without disruption.
This is already done at many bridges in the UK. There's an awful lot of bridges to get round, though, and there's often lengthy discusssions about who pays, when the road can be closed, and constructing a suitable mounting platform.
 

norbitonflyer

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I have advocated for many years that all rail-over-road bridges in the UK with height limits for road vehicles should be protected on each side by heavy steel gantries across the roadway, as happens in a number of European countries, including Belgium and - I think - the Netherlands. By doing so, overheight trucks, buses, etc. would demolish themselves on the gantry and leave the bridge undamaged.....thus allowing rail traffic to continue running without disruption.
That wouldn't have helped here because the vehicle was not over-height - or at least it wouldn't have been if it had kept to the centre of the arch as the road markings indicated. Short of replacing the arch with a girder bridge, or reducing the width of the road to one lane and providing traffic lights to enforce single alkernate line traffic, it is difficult to see what else can be done.
 

Bald Rick

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I have advocated for many years that all rail-over-road bridges in the UK with height limits for road vehicles should be protected on each side by heavy steel gantries across the roadway, as happens in a number of European countries, including Belgium and - I think - the Netherlands. By doing so, overheight trucks, buses, etc. would demolish themselves on the gantry and leave the bridge undamaged.....thus allowing rail traffic to continue running without disruption.

This is already done at many bridges in the UK. There's an awful lot of bridges to get round, though, and there's often lengthy discusssions about who pays, when the road can be closed, and constructing a suitable mounting platform.

And who maintains it, and who is responsible for putting it back when it is bashed, and who is liable if it fails for any reason.
 

D6130

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And who maintains it, and who is responsible for putting it back when it is bashed, and who is liable if it fails for any reason.
Not sure who is responsible for maintaining it in Belgium and the Netherlands, but I wouldn't mind betting that the bill for replacing a bent girder would be sent to the owners of the road vehicle concerned.....something which I hope would happen with bridge bash damage here in the UK.
 

Grumpy Git

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Not sure how, but the HGV driver should be banned from ever getting in a cab again. He was also driving much too fast. What a pillock.
 

zwk500

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Not sure who is responsible for maintaining it in Belgium and the Netherlands, but I wouldn't mind betting that the bill for replacing a bent girder would be sent to the owners of the road vehicle concerned.....something which I hope would happen with bridge bash damage here in the UK.
NR do regularly pursue owners/drivers (Or more accurately their insurers) for damages, but the cost of repairing/replacing (usually the latter, for obvious reasons) the beam is relatively minor in the scheme of things. And the insurance company will wrangle to avoid paying any more than they absolutely have to. The claims can drag on for ages.

Not sure how, but the HGV driver should be banned from ever getting in a cab again. He was also driving much too fast. What a pillock.
Fairly easy to take his enhanced license away, I'd have thought.
 

DelW

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I have advocated for many years that all rail-over-road bridges in the UK with height limits for road vehicles should be protected on each side by heavy steel gantries across the roadway, as happens in a number of European countries, including Belgium and - I think - the Netherlands. By doing so, overheight trucks, buses, etc. would demolish themselves on the gantry and leave the bridge undamaged.....thus allowing rail traffic to continue running without disruption.
I suspect the bridge was undamaged in this case - a brick arch is much stronger than trailer bodywork. Even the rather battered signage doesn't look any worse in the crash photo than it did on the Streetview image.
 

Peter Mugridge

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That wouldn't have helped here because the vehicle was not over-height - or at least it wouldn't have been if it had kept to the centre of the arch as the road markings indicated. Short of replacing the arch with a girder bridge, or reducing the width of the road to one lane and providing traffic lights to enforce single alternate line traffic, it is difficult to see what else can be done.
Hook Road is far too busy to get away with single line working; the bridge is already a bit of a pinch point as it is - I feel that replacement would be the way to go here. That would also allow the pavement to be widened on the one side and one put in on the other side.
 

Deepgreen

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One of our members lives just round the corner from that bridge, I"m sure he will be along in a minute...
No, I moved in 2012! Seriously, I used to live a few roads away and used this bridge very often. It's a very busy road and its use by large lorries has increased hugely over the last decade or so. The reinforcement/protection may have prevented structural damage this time.

Not sure how, but the HGV driver should be banned from ever getting in a cab again. He was also driving much too fast. What a pillock.
Agreed - ludicrously fast driving and complete disregard for the bridge height. Did he think he was driving a Lotus?!
 
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Mcr Warrior

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Serious question:- Why were the Waitrose van and the dashcam vehicle (just behind) temporarily stopped/halted where they were, just inside the tunnel/overbridge?

Are there traffic lights in the area which would have been halting their onward progress?
 

Darandio

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Serious question:- Why were the Waitrose van and the dashcam vehicle (just behind) temporarily stopped/halted where they were, just inside the tunnel/overbridge?

Are there traffic lights in the area which would have been halting their onward progress?

It's a two lane road, no need for traffic lights.
 

swt_passenger

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Serious question:- Why were the Waitrose van and the dashcam vehicle (just behind) temporarily stopped/halted where they were, just inside the tunnel/overbridge?

Are there traffic lights in the area which would have been halting their onward progress?
About 50 yards further to a give way at a mini roundabout, then another 100 yards to a fairly busy light controlled junction. Yes, traffic could easily be queued back.
 

Mcr Warrior

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So essentially the big van that stuffed into the overbridge (and the Waitrose van) should only have attempted to negotiate its way through the tunnel, if it had a clear run through the middle, where the tunnel clearance is highest?
 

Snow1964

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Serious question:- Why were the Waitrose van and the dashcam vehicle (just behind) temporarily stopped/halted where they were, just inside the tunnel/overbridge?

Are there traffic lights in the area which would have been halting their onward progress?

There are roundabouts both sides of bridge, obviously if anything is turning right coming opposite way it has priority as already on the roundabout.

It makes you wonder how the truck managed to go so fast, unless he just motored through the roundabout without stopping
 

swt_passenger

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So essentially the big van that stuffed into the overbridge (and the Waitrose van) should only have attempted to negotiate it's way through the tunnel, if it had a clear run through the middle?
No. The road markings mean it’s a two way road for low vehicles.
 
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