First driver sacked as second bus hits

Bus crash in Damside Street
Bus crash in Damside Street

Drivers of high sided vehicles are continuing to crash into a low bridge in Lancaster despite “sufficient” warnings in place.

On Monday, a double decker bus hit the footbridge over Damside Street near St George’s Quay, causing damage to the front top deck.

There were no passengers on board and no injuries caused, but the collision echoed a similar scenario in January when another double decker hit the same structure in a crash which saw the roof of its top deck ripped off.

Bus operator Stagecoach, confirmed this week that the driver of the bus that hit the bridge in January had been dismissed, and an investigation is now underway into the circumstances surrounding the second incident.

Both buses were the Number 12 between Lancaster and Morecambe, but a spokesman for Stagecoach said that this particular part of Damside Street was not on either of the vehicles’ planned route.

A number of lorries have also suffered the same fate, with some getting stuck under the bridge, but Lancashire County Council insists that signs indicating the height of the bridge are “in the best possible position, highly visible and in good condition”.

Sim Lane-Dixon, highways manager for Lancaster, said that all the ‘low bridge’ warning signs had been inspected following the incidents:

He added: “We believe there are sufficient warning signs in place on the roads leading to this low bridge, and we would like to remind drivers of high vehicles to make sure they not only know the height of their vehicle but wherever possible plan their route in advance, avoiding low structures.

“Overhead sensors are sometimes installed on structures which are crucial to the highway or rail infrastructure, but they are costly and would not be a viable option for locations such as Damside Street Bridge.

“Drivers and their employers must take responsibility for making sure that routes are properly planned and that traffic signs are acted upon.”