Friday, August 10, 2007

Bridge Fiasco

Today another lorry has hit the low bridge in Forest Road adjacent to Fairlop Tube Station travelling towards Barkingside. Forest Road was closed off at the Fullwell Cross roundabout and presumably at the Hainault Road roundabout, but drivers still drove through the barrier, one with a cone stuck underneath.

This is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence. When will Metronet, or presumably now Tfl take remedial action? We either need to lower the road or have hanging chimes like at Blackwall Tunnel, but both cost money. How much does a life cost?


  1. Here we go again. TfL and Redbridge council share some responsibility for this. I will put it on the list of issues to flag up at the September Mayor's Question Time. It's going to be a long one...

  2. This saga has been going on for years. I held discussions with London Underground and Metronet. Both were quite adamant that they would make no financial contribution whatsoever to remedies for this stuation. London Underground very smugly said that the concrete lintels that they had placed across the road on either side of the bridge ensured that the train service was protected from disruption, and that was their sole responsibility. They studiously ignore the fact that the low height of the bridge is wholly inconsistent with modern traffic patterns and simply say that the roadway needs to be lowered to increase the clearance. For this the council would have to meet the cost that would run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, probably millions.

    Good luck Roger - you'll need it, but frankly a question to Livingstone is a waste of breath. It needs more effective action.

  3. Morris,
    Perhaps we are too hung up on the height and should be thinking about width?

    Maybe width restrictions either side of the bridge [surely they don't cost that much] would suffice. OK the lorries would be stuck and have to reverse out but at least they would not HIT the bridge and keel over.

  4. Given that Highways Officers are quite happy to festoon the rest of Redbridge with a quite unnecessary overkill of road signs, why can't they put up two bloody great signs at the entrance to Forest Rd, then some around Elmbridge, and a few others artfully sprinkled around Fullwell Roundabout, pointing out height restrictions at the Bridge?

    Couldn't cost more than a couple of years' lease on two Jaguars.

  5. oh, and another thought occurs: presumably the noddies are involved every time there needs to be road closures and clearance of vehicles? Do they not have a valid opinion on this waste of their time, and could they not be involved in the search for a cure?

    Over to you, Roger.

  6. A couple of years ago after a serious accident at this bridge I suggested a series of my flashing triangles set on the beam. These can be seen from over a mile and would be visible night and day. The triangle is the international safety sign.
    They are different from any other signage and would highlight the lowness of the bridge these lights have very bright LEDs built in and the running cost is pennies per year. As the centre height signs are lit night and day a simple transformer would allow these triangles to easily be lit. A row of six would be needed above the left hand carriageway on both sides and would highlight the bridge. I was willing to supply these lights at cost if the council would fit them. I even supplied samples of these lights but no one listened. Someone has to be killed or train service disrupted for several days for someone to at least try an alternative to stupidity.
    The cost of these lights were under £500 for both sides,
    I feel they would work.
    TFL spends £75,000 per light to tell you you are speeding and the cost of repairing these when they go wrong exceeds the cost of my triangles many times.
    LEDs are not like bulbs they have a life span of over 100,000 hours as my units are flashing at a very short time they would last for well over ten years without maintenance.

    Terry Jennings

  7. Good to hear from you Terry, and nice to know people don't lose interest when they move away.

  8. Terry Jennings' inexpensive suggestion is well worth a try.
    I suggest that Barkingside 21 gives it every possible support.
    Come on Councillors get it done.

  9. DGS,
    Cllr Kissin, Chair Area 4 has asked for a report and our MP, Lee Scott, has offered his support for action. However the Chair of Area 3 does not appear to be interested.

    I have also officially suggested width restrictions either side of the bridge as an option to consider.

    Incidentally there is a warning sign at the entrance to Fairlop Waters, which gives these lorries the opportunity to turn round.

  10. Yes - unfortunately the warning sign at the entrance to Fairlop Waters indicates that the low bridge is a half mile ahead when in fact it is less than a quarter mile. Hardly helpful. Having looked today I see that there is ample advance warning. Why are offending drivers not prosecuted by the police for failure to drive with due care and attention?

    By the way, does Area 3 have a Chairman? Does he know that he holds the position?

  11. Presumably many of these lorries will be going to the businesses along Forest Rd and in the business Park - could the businesses be encouraged to hand out Warning flyers to the drivers?

  12. I expect the Chair of Area 3 knows that he is Chair by virtue of his bank balance. However, I suspect that he has not yet realised that there is a Role and Responsibilities to go with it!

  13. Yes Judith, I believe that was done some while back but needs to be maintained as staff change.