The Cut is declared ‘safe’ after two lorry collisions

Damage caused to lorry after it collided with a bridge in Banbridge.
Damage caused to lorry after it collided with a bridge in Banbridge.
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Jinglers Bridge, hit by two lorries within the space of two days, has been declared as structurally unaffected by Transport NI.

The Cut bridge in Banbridge was first hit by a prison van last Sunday night, almost ripping the roof off the vehicle - it continued to Portadown despite the damage.

Then, on the same day police issued warnings to drivers of large vehicles to be wary of their dimensions, a large lorry got stuck under the bridge after colliding with it.

A spokesperson for Department for Infrastructure said: “Following two recent bridge strikes at Newry Street Banbridge, TransportNI staff visited the site and inspected the bridge.

“Whilst superficial damage is clearly visible TransportNI is content that the structural integrity of the bridge remains unaffected.

“TransportNI is satisfied that there are signs for the height restriction on the approach roads and on the bridge itself. Both the imperial and metric heights are shown. All signs are clearly visible.”

Local MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has written to Ordnance Survey NI and two of the major UK Sat Nav companies following the two incidents.

Mrs Dobson, who describes ‘The Cut’ as one of Banbridge’s most significant and historic features, said “I know like so many people growing up in Banbridge that we were aware that having Jinglers Bridge, one of Europe’s first – if not the first fly-over, in the middle of our town centre makes us unique across the Country.

“However, with the continued increase in large, high-sided vehicles on our roads, just like some narrow country roads, caution is always needed. Especially with the continued use of Sat Nav guidance inside vehicles which while giving the comfort of technological guidance may not take into account the height of low bridges.

“I have written to Ordnance Survey NI to ask what guidance they provide to Sat Nav companies around the height of The Cut, and also to Satellite Navigation manufacturers Garmin and TomTom to ensure that the guidance provided by their devices takes into account our historical fly-over in Banbridge.

“I understand that considerable damage was caused to both vehicles and that in the second incidence that the road was closed to enable Police to deal with the incident.

“Over the years there have been a number of incidents involving vehicles too high to pass under The Cut and I have witnessed a number of drivers of high sided vehicles reversing back down Bridge Street after they realised the height was not enough for their vehicle.

“Given that the first vehicle to collide with the bridge was a Northern Ireland Prison Service van, which then drove on to Portadown, I have written to the Justice Minister asking her to outline the circumstances of this incident and how it is being investigated.”