Northern Ireland

Bridge in Banbridge, County Down is hit for fourth time

Lorry collides with bridge Image copyright Image courtesy of Transport Consulting Company
Image caption The lorry hit a 19th Century stone bridge, known as The Cut, which runs through the town centre

A low bridge in Banbridge, County Down, has been hit by a vehicle for the fourth time in less than a year.

It happened as the lorry drove under a 19th Century stone bridge in the town centre, known as The Cut, at about 21:25 BST on Tuesday.

The lorry appears to have some damage to its roof. The road under The Cut - Bridge Street - was closed for a short time, but no injuries were reported.

Lorries also hit the same bridge in May and twice within two days in November.

After the third strike, police officers began keeping score and posted a photo of the damage on the PSNI Banbridge Twitter account.

"The Cut 3, Lorries 0', officers declared, adding: "Looks like we are going to need a bigger sign."

At the time, they advised drivers of high-sided vehicles to know the height and dimensions of their lorries before passing under bridges.

Image copyright © Albert Bridge/CC Geograph
Image caption The Cut is a 19th Century bridge in the middle of Banbridge town centre

In November 2016, a prison service van lost its roof when it hit the bridge.

The following day, a second lorry became stuck under the bridge.

'Under pressure'

There are a number of signs warning motorists about the height of The Cut, some of which also advise lorry drivers to take an alternative route, said Michael Ferran, who teaches lorry drivers about safety.

However, he said that if high-sided vehicles make a mistake and approach the bridge, there is little space on Bridge Street for them to turn back.

Mr Ferran added that generally speaking, haulage companies and lorry drivers are often under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines.

"It's all rush, rush, rush," said Mr Ferran, who runs the Banbridge-based firm, Transport Consulting Company.

The photograph of the latest incident was taken shortly after Tuesday's collision by Mr Ferran's wife.

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