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Bridge signs due for a makeover?

By: Dave Robbins
09 October 2015

If you’re a transport operator, bridge bashing is a costly mistake – one that you’d prefer to avoid. Not only is there serious damage to your vehicle and serious damage to the bridge, there’s serious damage to your company’s reputation and of course, serious damage to your bank account. And the incident is also likely to cause disruption to both road and, depending on the bridge, rail networks too.
All vehicles with an overall travelling height of over three metres have a notice installed in the cab showing the height in feet and inches as well as metres, or in imperial and metric. But it does seem that drivers are finding the information provided confusing – particularly as they often have to make rapid conversion calculations on the road.
Following a review of all traffic signs, the Department for Transport (DfT) has come to the conclusion that a lack of understanding of imperial measurements – particularly amongst younger and foreign drivers – was a factor in the 1,600 bridge bashing incidents during 2014/15. As a result the DfT is now planning to introduce a bridge marking system which shows height, width and length limits in both imperial and metric on one sign.
In welcoming the move Malcolm Bingham, Head of Road Network Policy  at the FTA urged the DfT to encourage bridge owners and local authorities to adopt the proposed changes as quickly as possible.

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