Saturday 3 December 2016

Second lorry hits historic underpass in just two days

Published 29/11/2016 | 10:50

Damage done to the lorry (Photo: PSNI)
Damage done to the lorry (Photo: PSNI)

Another lorry has hit the underpass in Banbridge, the second in as many days.

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The articulated vehicle hit The Cut in the Co Down town on Monday evening.

It had managed to get almost through the bridge until it was stopped. Half of the truck's trailer was ripped off in the crash.

Newry Street in the town had to be closed to allow the lorry to be recovered.

Incredibly in that incident the driver was unaware of the crash and continued on for some 10 miles to Portadown before realising the damage done.

Police posted a picture of the incident on Facebook as a warning to road users to be aware of their vehicles dimensions if they are not used to driving it.

"Not the smartest move," said an officer in the post.

"Remember, only the fire service are qualified to make your motor a convertible by the road side, but you really don't want that to happen."

The officer continued: "First up, if you're driving a vehicle you're not used to, make sure you know it's dimensions!! Van and lorry drivers in particular, know the height of your vehicle and always check the marked clearance height of bridges before passing under them for the first time.

"Secondly, if you're driving a larger vehicle, especially one with a cab where you maybe wouldn't feel a smaller impact, if you have even a suspicion you've hit something - pull over!! Check it out, and where necessary, contact ourselves."

The post went on: "If it happens to be a railway bridge you hit, you must immediately use the phone beside the bridge to contact NIR (Northern Ireland Railways).

"There's no way of telling what structural damage could be caused by a bridge strike, and those trains aren't light.

"This vehicle found out the clearance height of The Cut in Banbridge yesterday. It then drove on to Portadown, not realising the damage done.

"Remember, only the fire service are qualified to make your motor a convertible by the road side, but you really don't want that to happen.

"Stay safe out there."

Meanwhile, a councillor in Co Louth said the St Laurence gate is also damaged "at an alarming rate" by large vehicles getting stuck in the arch.

“It’s the last remaining gate wall from Drogheda town and it’s the finest Barbican gate in Western Europe. It’s a pretty important bridge.

“For years traffic has been going through it and getting stuck. I’d say two or three trucks a day get stuck in it,” Mr Callan told Independent.ie.

He said the walls are “covered in marks and cuts” from the vehicles.

“At this stage local residents are standing outside trying to tell trucks not to go through it.”

Mr Callan said that a correct height restriction is in place but large HGV trucks continue to go through the gate.

Belfast Telegraph

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