The minimum clearance height of an unmarked bridge in the UK is 16ft 6in. Most bridges with a clearance of less than this will be marked with a warning sign. To avoid a bridge strike it is important that you know the height of your horsebox; measure your lorry and make a note of the height in the cab for quick reference and safe travelling. You should also plan your trip carefully, particularly where your destination involves a cross country route.
The marked clearance height is usually in the centre of the bridge, you will need to make allowance for this when navigating low bridges; wait for a safe opportunity to move towards the centre of the road to give yourself maximum clearance.
It is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle does not strike a bridge. If you are unsure, check before attempting to drive under the bridge.
On 1st October 1997 regulations came into force to make drivers more aware of their vehicle/load height and the location of low bridges. For vehicles over three metres high the main requirements are as follows:
- there must be a sign in your cab showing the overall travelling height of your vehicle or documents in the cab showing routes to be taken which ensure no risk of collision with a bridge.
- depending on the vehicle's age, a warning device must be fitted to alert the driver if any power operated equipment located at high level on the vehicle has been left at a height higher than the vehicles normal driving height.
Last updated: 27/06/2010