Lorry drivers told to take care after bridge struck

3 months ago 18
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image captionGreat Western Railway (GWR) advised people to only travel "if your journey is essential" after the crash

Lorry drivers and haulage companies have been told to "take better care" by railway line owner Network Rail after a lorry hit a bridge in Devon.

Rail services were cancelled on Sunday after the crash in Plymouth.

Passengers have been warned that they will face disruption until the weekend.

Network Rail said the lorry caused "huge damage" to the line connecting Cornwall and south Devon "with the rest of the country", creating "bank holiday misery for thousands".

The lorry hit the bridge at Ashford Crescent at about 15:00 BST on Sunday.

Height warnings

Network Rail said the Tesco truck was wedged for more than 24 hours before being removed on Tuesday afternoon.

It said: "The lorry caused huge damage to the bridge in Plymouth, forcing the railway line that connects Cornwall and Plymouth with the rest of the country to close and causing bank holiday misery for thousands of travellers."

It added that about five railway bridges were hit by lorries a day nationally and the annual bill for "such careless driving comes in at around £20m".

Mike Gallop, of Network Rail, said: "We are urging all lorry drivers and haulage companies to take better care, look out for the height warnings on all of our bridges, and take a second to think before taking a risk and causing disruption to so many people's lives."

image captionRail bosses said the lorry caused "huge damage" to the bridge

Rail bosses said one of the two lines over the bridge was open, but only one train an hour was operating in each direction across the bridge.

Network Rail said "extremely limited" replacement road transport was also running between Exeter St Davids and Plymouth.

Service operator Great Western Railway (GWR) has advised people to "only travel if your journey is essential".

Passengers affected can claim compensation.

Tesco said it was "very sorry for the problems this has caused for travellers and we are investigating how this has happened".

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