Is this Britain's most dangerous bridge?

Is this Britain’s most dangerous bridge? Motorists give structure the ominous nickname ‘Van-eater’ due to its reputation for catching out drivers who misjudge its height

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A bridge in Grimsby has been named the ‘Van-eater’ because of its reputation for destroying the top of tall vehicles.

The bridge on Wintringham Road is locally known for catching drivers as they misjudge the height of the bridge above. It is now being closed for construction to make repairs to the signs warning how low it is.

Residents have complained about the number of incidents over the years, with five vans striking the bridge in 2022 alone. 

The bridge has two signs informing people of the low height. One says: ‘Very low bridge – check headroom,’ while another gives the height as 7ft 9in (2.4 metres).

A bridge in Grimsby has been named the ‘Van-eater’ because of its reputation for destroying the top of tall vehicles. Pictured: a destroyed van in December last year

Pictured is a British Heart Foundation van that was completely damaged by the low bridge

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One resident, Ewelina Milewska said in August last year: ‘I’ve seen it many times.

‘I’m surprised that people aren’t looking out for the information here on the height restriction. There are so many accidents here because of how quickly [the vehicles ] are going. Reading and looking at the signs is the most important thing, and people don’t look. When they realise there’s a problem, why don’t they reverse back?

‘I’ve lived here for three years and every day I see something, cars speeding and accidents, especially at school time when there are kids walking here. It’s very dangerous.’

Speaking about the incidents in August last year, the council said: ‘In 2020, the council introduced additional signage to Wintringham Road Bridge with the aim to improve driver awareness on the height restrictions.

‘There are also parking restrictions on part of the road leading to the bridge to ensure the road near the bridge is clear of vehicles, giving drivers maximum visibility of the height restriction.

‘Raising the height of the bridge is not an option due to the significant impact this would have on Peaks Parkway traffic. If there are more incidents of drivers colliding with the bridge in the future, further restrictions can be explored. The council will continue to monitor this situation.

Residents have been complaining for years about the bridge and destroyed vans, one pictured in 2020

‘Drivers are kindly asked to remind themselves of the height of their vehicles and pay particular attention when approaching Wintringham Road Bridge.’

The underpass is set to be closed later this month to repair and replace the low bridge chevron signs in the hope of preventing any more vans becoming victim to it.

The road will be shut from 9am to 3.30pm on Wednesday, September 13. Diversions will be put in place during this time, although footpath access will still be maintained.

A spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council apologised for the inconvenience saying: ‘The council, Equans and contractor McCann’s would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience and assure you that the work will be completed as quickly and safely as possible.’

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