Stagecoach to deploy bridge-alert tech nationwide after Cambridge trial

Stagecoach East - Senior Traffic Commissioner and Traffic Commissioner for the East of England, Richard Turfitt is shown the new Low Bridge Warning system by Stagecoach East MD Darren Roe at the Cambridge Depot. Credit: Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk RMG Photography - Tel : 07798 758711

Approximately 18,000 low bridges across the UK are being mapped into the system in advance of the roll-out of the technology planned by late summer

Successful trials of GreenRoad’s bridge alert technology by Stagecoach in Cambridge mean the operator will now deploy the technology on around 4,000 of its double-decker buses and high coaches across the UK.

The investment represents £4m and Stagecoach hopes the national roll-out will help put bridge strikes to an end. The software uses GPS vehicle location data and mapping services to send an alert to drivers of nearby low bridges.

Data published by Network Rail shows that there were 1714 railway bridge strikes across the country in the 2019-20 financial year. 40-50 incidents were related to buses.

Around 18,000 low bridges are to be mapped into the system ahead of the rollout due by late summer. Training and briefing is underway for Stagecoach engineers and drivers to install and use the software.

“Our major investment in this cutting-edge new technology is a clear demonstration of us going one step further to deliver an industry-leading initiative to further enhance the safety systems we have in place,” says Stagecoach Engineering Director Sam Greer. “We are very pleased with the successful trial in Cambridge, which has been welcomed by the Senior Traffic Commissioner in the East of England, and we will now move ahead with the full roll out across all of our double-decker buses and high coaches.”

Other safety measures in place include redesigning bus routes to avoid low bridges, classroom and practical route training for drivers, and co-operation with authorities to ensure other alerts and signage are in place.

Adds Richard Hemming, GreenRoad’s Vice President of Customer Success: “We are very pleased to work with Stagecoach, our long-term partner, to develop this important new safety technology for the benefit of its passengers and all those who use UK roads.

“As a company fully focussed on safety, we pledge to continue bringing the market new innovations that solve safety challenges and encourage safe, environmentally responsible driving habits.”