Tuesday, 29 September 2009

New Technology To Protect Bridge

Newspaper pictures of lorries stuck under the railway bridge at the bottom of Dredgeman’s Hill in Merlin’s Bridge could be a thing of the past thanks to the installation of new roadside technology.

For many years the sight of a HGV with its load jammed under the bridge has been an all too familiar one to nearby residents and motorists using the A4076 just outside Haverfordwest.

Now the Welsh Assembly Government with a contribution from the bridge’s owner, Network Rail, have funded a signing system which detects vehicles approaching the structure that are over 14 foot 9 inches and therefore too high to pass safely underneath.

Located on Pope Hill near Johnston and Freemans Way, sensors activate a nearby message sign with flashing amber lights that tells the driver to ‘Turn Back’.

The system is monitored and a log is also kept each time the sensors detect a suspect vehicle.

Roger Williams from the West Wales Trunk Road Agency said that since its recent installation, the system had already detected one such lorry whose driver had then turned around and selected another route.

"HGV drivers who ignore the warnings when it applies to them, are liable to be prosecuted" he added.

The new scheme has been welcomed by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Brian Hall.

"In the last couple of years especially there have been several incidents of lorries striking the bridge and sometimes even damaging the railway track" he said. "Hopefully these are now in the past."


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