A freight skills consultancy is encouraging hauliers to join its campaign to prevent bridge strikes and will use Road …

Road Skills Online said that between 1 April 2020 and March 31 2023 there were 5,029 bridge strikes across the national network and companies were risking their operator licence. It will launch Destination Zero Bridge Strikes at NAEC Stoneleigh in Warwickshire next month and RTX visitors can find out how to sign up at its stand. Road Skills Online said that in 2021, the Metropolitan police alone prosecuted 14 drivers for the offence and in most cases around the country, hauliers and drivers find themselves hauled before the traffic commissioner too.

In February, East Midlands Railway urged HGV drivers to find out the height of their vehicles and not take any unnecessary risks, after 54 bridge strikes occurred along its network in one year. Companies are normally called to a preliminary hearing at which they have an opportunity to show they did everything that could have been done to avoid a bridge strike, including a regular training programme for drivers. For serious transgressions, an operator can have its licence revoked.

On average, following a conviction a driver will receive five penalty points and GBP600 in fines. Road Skills Online said drivers are also referred to the TC as part of a driver conduct hearing. Many have had their vocational licence revoked for periods from two months to as much as nine months.

As part of its campaign, Road Skills Online is also offering a 'bridge strike e-learning toolbox' to operators free of charge.