Concerns over bridge strikes near Ironbridge

Lorries have repeatedly struck a railway bridge near Ironbridge and insufficient warning signs could be to blame, parish councillors have heard.

The railway bridge at Wellington Road / Jiggers Bank, Coalbrookdale
The railway bridge at Wellington Road / Jiggers Bank, Coalbrookdale

The crossing over Wellington Road, Coalbrookdale, has a clearance just over 12 feet, and a resident contacted The Gorge Parish Council saying drivers should get more warning as they approach.

Chairman Lee Proudfoot said one of the signs was recently knocked over, possibly by a reversing lorry trying to avoid the bridge itself, and another may not be fully visible to drivers.

Councillors agreed to request the old sign is cleaned or replaced and ask for another on the south approach.

Clerk Ian Cruise-Taylor told members: “Apparently, towards the end of November, vehicles struck the railway bridge across Wellington Road in Coalbrookdale, which this particular resident believes is something that happened on a fairly regular basis.”

The disused bridge – part of the branch line that served the Ironbridge power station until it closed in 2015 – crosses Wellington Road, near where it joins Jiggers Bank, with Lawtons Lane to the north and Cherry Tree Hill to the south.

“There is a request that the parish council requests that bridge clearance signage is made clearer on the uphill road, but also that there are sufficient warnings about the bridge and its limitations at both ends,” Mr Cruise-Taylor said.

He said the parish council welcomed requests like that, but asked residents to be patient because “while it may seem like a simple thing, it can take quite a while and involves an number of agencies”.

Councillor Proudfoot said he had previously reported a missing sign on the north side of the bridge.

Foundry

“It was either, ironically, knocked over by a lorry reversing to avoid the bridge or the highways team knocked it with a tractor when they were mowing the hedges,” he said.

He added that the sign – one of two on the Jiggers Bank side – had since been repaired.

“Coming from the other end, there is one 12’3″ warning at the bottom of Dale End, but it’s quite old and needs either a clean or replacing,” Councillor Proudfoot said.

He suggested placing a second sign further down Dale End.

“There are two signs coming down and one going up, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for another one,” he said.

“With what’s, possibly, going on at the Coalbrookdale foundry, we’re going to get more vehicles, we’re going to get those HGVs back again.”

The Aga casting works at Coalbrookdale closed in 2017, and Shropshire Homes plans approximately 100 new homes on the site. A pre-application consultation is running until Monday, January 4, with more information available at newhomesforcoalbrookdale.co.uk

Councillors agreed to request that the old sign is cleaned or replaced and ask for additional warning.

Mr Cruise-Taylor said there had also been a request to support reducing the A4169 bypass speed limit to 50mph, down from the current 60mph.

“Apparently a number of people are crossing the road between Lightmoor and Coalbrookdale to access the footpath,” he said.

“A lady, unfortunately, was hit by a car and injured some weeks ago.”

Councillors agreed to request that the 50mph limit that applies elsewhere on that stretch continue for its whole length.

Cllr Proudfoot said: “That route is only going to get more busy as the growth in Lightmoor increases. I think that’s a valid request.”

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