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Demands for warning signs after lorry hits Oswaldtwistle railway bridge
DEMANDS have been made for more prominent signs at a low railway bridge after a lorry collided with it, shedding its load onto a passing car.
The 33-year-old woman in the car was said to have had a ‘miraculous escape’ when the roof of her Nissan Micra caved in and the windscreen shattered.
The truck, which was carrying large plastic containers, normally used to carry liquids, had been passing under the 14ft 9in bridge in Blackburn Road, Oswaldtwistle, when the accident happened at around 9.30am yesterday (Sept 4).
The impact caused the containers to hang over the side of the R Spivey & Son lorry, into the path of the on-coming Micra.
One of the containers then smashed into the car.
Councillors said the warning signs leading up to the bridge needed to be more prominent. There is a sign on the bridge and another within 50 yards.
The road had to be closed for around two-and-a-half hours from its junction with Thwaites Road and Henry Street, Church, while recovery work was carried out.
Trains between Blackburn and Accrington were also halted over concerns the bridge may have been structurally damaged by the collision.
Coun Marlene Haworth, who represents the St Oswalds Ward, said it was imperative signs be made more obvious to stop another accident.
She said: “It is terrible that something like this has happened. We need more signs.
“The driver should have been aware further back along the road that there was a low bridge.
“I have got to say, I have never noticed the signs before and I travel on that road two or three times a day.
“The signs need to be more obvious and bigger for a start.
“They need to be more in your face because we cannot have accidents like this occuring.
“Somebody could have been really seriously injured and whoever was in the car has been very, very lucky.”
A bridge is considered to be low if it is under 16ft 6in and along this part of the track, there are other bridges at 14ft 9in and another at 12ft.
Residents living close by said it had been struck four times in the past year by HGVs using the route.
Bernard McFadden, who lives in Blackburn Road, said he was worried that if nothing was done there would be more accidents.
He said: “It has happened a few times before but nothing as severe as this one.
“It caused quite a bit of congestion and the car was a right mess, it must have been a write off.”
Coun Peter Britclifffe, leader of the opposition at Hyndburn Council, said he would also be speaking with Lancashire County Council to have more warning signs put up before vehicles approached the bridge.
He said: “Double decker buses go under the bridge quite easily, so it is quite high. But there is obviously a problem there and there needs to be more signs to prevent this from happening.”
Specialist investigators examined the bridge for around 30 minutes before trains were allowed to cross again.
A police inquiry is also underway to determine how the collision happened.
The driver of the Micra was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital for treatment and later released, and the driver of the HGV, who, it is understood was not following a Satnav, did not receive serious injuries.
A spokesman for Network Rail said some disruption was caused to train journeys while the bridge was closed.
He said: “We had a call at 9.55am from Lancashire Police to reports that a vehicle had stuck a bridge.
“Our bridges are categorised into green, red or amber and this bridge was red, which means if a vehicle collides with it, we immediately stop all traffic crossing it.
“Our engineers were happy that it was only superficial damage to the bridge and no further action was required.”
He said bridge strikes often took place across Lancashire but only accidents in which someone was injured were recorded.
PC Will Wells, from the road policing department, said: “We are going to be investigating to find out exactly what happened, although nobody has been arrested and the incident is being investigated as a collision.”
Nobody from the HGV company R Spivey & Son, in West Yorkshire, was available for comment.