Bridge comment - by Devon's Chief Engineer as reported on Devon Live

 Devon Live have reported the following,

"Devon County Council’s chief bridge engineer, Kevin Dentith, said the driver misjudged his approach to the narrow bridge.....The double-height kerb stones installed on the historic Bickleigh Bridge just last month helped to prevent a much worse event when an articulated lorry collided with the wall on Monday,..... further mitigations to prevent the knocks, such as traffic lights at either side, would not have prevented this week’s accident.....whilst the cab got onto the bridge without causing any damage, the driver reversed off the bridge and in doing so caught the downstream parapet wall.....the main arches are very strong, capable of taking well in excess of the 40 tonne vehicles permitted on the highway, a testament to the original builders.

.....Whilst the damage looks dramatic it is not serious in terms of the overall integrity of the bridge and will be returned to full use as quickly as possible.....the approach to the bridge, which was lined with new kerb stones some years ago, has improved vehicles’ access onto the bridge, but larger trucks and lorries have occasionally bumped up the kerb and scraped the a result, double-height kerb stones, used commonly in situations like this, were introduced this year to stop that, and have been very effective....this lorry’s tyre marks on the kerb stones, with no damage to the parapet wall on the upstream side of the bridge, shows that the kerbs helped in this situation. They possibly prevented an even worse event."

Personally I doubt that these statements will find much support locally. Many drivers and local residents accessing the bridge from Tiverton would not agree that the kerbs have 'improved access' or that the kerbing prevented a 'much worse event' given the driver and vehicle must have been within inches of toppling into the river. A great shame too that more effort was not made to design kerbing and fencing more sympathetic to the historic setting.  

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