Suffolk railway bridge is the most bashed in Britain

The newly installed collision beam at Coddenham Road Bridge in Needham Market, which has been named

Network Rail have announced that the rail bridge at Coddenham Road is the most hit in the country - Credit: Bob Reason

Data from Network Rail has revealed that a Suffolk railway bridge is the most collided with in the whole of Britain. 

Coddenham Road railway bridge, near Needham Market, has been hit a total of 19 times in the last year, costing a total of £41,331 in train delays and cancellations. 

This comes as Network Rail launches its "wise up, size up" campaign, aiming to remind lorry drivers and haulage operators to take better care with large vehicles, and choose suitable routes for their journeys.

Traditionally, the Black Friday and Christmas period are a peak period for bridge strikes, as more newly qualified lorry drivers take to the nation's roads to fulfil the estimated almost 100,000 strong shortfall.

However, local residents say that a recent reduction in height clearance is responsible for catching the drivers out, as vehicles which could once pass under it now become stuck.

This is because the installation of protective collision beams, which reduced the bridge's clearance from 2.5m to 2.3m. 

Evening Star Words by Rebecca Lefort
Bus that was stuck under a bridge in Coddenham Road, Need

In the past, a minibus has become stuck under the bridge - Credit: William Flurrie

Bob Reason, who lives less than half a mile away, said: "There has always been a big problem with drivers not noticing the signs but now drivers who regularly use the road are suddenly finding that they can no longer get underneath the bridge. 

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"I walk under the bridge twice a day and I have already seen a number of people hit the beams since they were put in.

"The beams have been installed to protect the bridge from damage and to stop the train services being stopped, but they have reduced the headroom so much that so many people will get caught out."

Other bridges in the region also made it onto the most hit list, with Stuntney Road bridge in Ely ranking fourth, Ipswich Road bridge in Manningtree eighth and Abbey Farm bridge in Thetford twentieth.

Collisions with the Stuntney Road bridge in Ely often lead to trains between Peterborough and Ipswich being completely knocked out, causing much disruption to travellers.