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Railways: Bridges

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 110495, tabled on 31 October 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the (a) number of rail bridge strikes, (b) cost to his Department of those strikes and (c) amount recovered from insurers of vehicles involved in such strikes in each of the last three years for which data is available.

Answered on

3 November 2017

Oversized lorries hit rail bridges five times a day, almost 2000 every year.

On average, each bridge strike costs the taxpayer £13,500, adding up to £23m a year in damages and delays.

Network Rail recovered £6m in the last financial year from insurers for compensation for bridge strikes, while in previous years the recovery rate was typically between £3-5m. The rate of recovery is rising following legal precedents that allow full recovery of costs to compensate train operators for delays.

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