Bridge smash at Ambergate

Ambergate bridge.
Ambergate bridge.

Campaigners fear someone could die unless urgent action is taken at a bridge in Ambergate which has been hit by lorries five times in six months.

The railway bridge next to the Hurt Arms, which supports the Midlands Mainline railway, was hit again on January 7 when an articulated lorry over-turned.

The driver was not injured but suffered from shock and had to be checked out by paramedics at the scene.

Now, residents have claimed accidents are at their highest level ever at the 4.8-metre-high bridge built in 1931, and are demanding highways bosses at Derbyshire County Council urgently review the situation before there is a fatality.

Borough councillor for Ambergate Maurice Gent said: “The crashes seem to be a regular thing now, we have never had so much trouble with it as there is now. We have been lucky so far, but how long can that last?”

The Bullbridge and Sawmills Area Civic Society says it will be discussing the problem with highway chiefs and will be investigating whether the demolition of a bridge at Sawmills on the A610 has caused lorries to use this route instead, and prompted the accidents, it says. It has previously maintained that the bridge which was demolished in July acted as a buffer for another railway bridge on the A610, deterring lorries from using the route.

Chairman, Freda Raphael, said: “We pointed out it would have repercussions.”

The problem is being investigated by highways officers at Derbyshire County Council, who will report to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Simon Spencer. He said: “If proposals come forward to me I will give them due consideration.”

“A lot of these incidents by the sound of it are down to driver error.

“As with any road safety issue there is a protocol. I will await a report from the officers. Road safety is a top priority for Derbyshire County Council.”