TfL and Ordnance Survey initiative aims to help fleets avoid bridge strikes

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Fleet operators can now access better information about height restrictions for tunnels and bridges across London following a partnership between Transport for London (TfL) and Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey has permitted TfL to release a free to use dataset, available by clicking here, to provide more detailed information about height restrictions on low bridges, tunnels and barriers across London roads.

The data covers all bridge structures within the Greater London boundary/M25 and its use is aimed to reduce bridge strikes.

In July, senior traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt told Commercial Fleet that bridge strikes are a “serious problem for the industry”.

Network Rail says that, on average, five entirely avoidable railway bridge strikes take place every day across Britain, costing taxpayers £23 million a year.

In August this year, a vehicle strike on a 4.8m rail bridge in Old Street, which carries the East London line, caused disruption to thousands of commuters.

While the road was only closed for around 20 minutes while the structure was assessed by engineers for damage, London Overground services were impacted for around two and a half hours.

Emily Herreras-Griffiths, travel demand management interim programme director at Transport for London, said: “Every day, millions of road freight deliveries are made across London, and yet, in this digitally connected age, it is still alarming how often bridge strikes can occur.

“Our Vision Zero policy means that we are determined to reduce road and rail danger wherever it occurs.

“For many years, we have brought together the road freight industry to tackle many issues and I’m delighted that we have been able to work with Ordnance Survey to provide a ‘single source of data’ for bridge heights across London.

“I encourage all freight operators to use this data to ensure their systems are consistently accurate, helping drivers and their vehicles avoid unnecessary collisions, which can impact both drivers and rail passengers.”

John Kimmance, Ordnance Survey director of government and partner engagement, added: “We are excited to see how the height data, being released by Transport for London, will be used to further improve road safety levels and minimise disruption across London’s roads and rail network.”

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