At the risk of Ferryman accusing me of …

Comment posted Overnight closures for Connel Bridge for repairs to damage caused by high truck by Robert Wakeham.

At the risk of Ferryman accusing me of not being a regular user of the Connel Bridge (I plead guilty) I’d like to know why – to the best of my knowledge – there’s no form of overhead warning barrier that triggers stop lights if an overheight vehicle approaches the bridge? This type of ‘fail-safe’ precaution is common enough in some European countries – for example, at level crossings where there’s an overhead electric line.
In this country any construction site involving traffic under low power lines will be legally required to have ‘goalposts’, and it leaves me wondering if the trunk road authority is asleep – or maybe their managing agents get a percentage of the cost of repairing the likes of Connel Bridge? I just can’t believe that the cost of repairs – and disruption – is outweighed by the cost of fitting effective safety warnings.

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • In that case perhaps a reliable stop light system with flashing ‘overheight’ warning would be the obvious failsafe system – the flashing speed signs at the southern entrance to Inveraray and on Great Western Road near Drumchapel are very noticeable.
  • What I’ve seen in some places is a hefty steel pipe suspended from cables over the road – no electrical system to go wrong, but a driver would have to be deaf or drunk not to be aware of a ‘hit’. (having said that, I wonder what was the driver’s excuse at Connel if – as it would appear – he ploughed on for some distance after hitting the first girder?)

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

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    Jamie, I’m not sure of the location of the Kilcreggan Steps – but surely a pontoon would best be sited at the station platform head, to give direct access to all the platforms.
    Otherwise it’d be another bit of uncoordinated ‘investment’ of public money in something not fit for purpose.
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    Jamie, you’re absolutely right in that there can be more than one train in the station at a time (and the frequency of this is due to increase with the new timetable) so the issue, to my mind, is that the platform nearest the ferry should be the default option.
    If, as zak & db’s comments suggest, this is still not the case, why on earth not? And surely the heaviest used morning and evening trains should be programmed to use the platform nearest the ferry.
    Of course, the ideal would be a ferry landing point at the platform head, not way down beyond the station, and this would greatly ease the transfer between ferry and train.
    The eye-watering sums being spent on the Coruisk could surely be better spent in providing such a landing.
  • Coruisk deployment: McGrigor probes prove major embarrassment to DFM
    zak & db’s comments, that ‘connecting’ trains use the platform furthest from the ferry, are very, very surprising – because when I saw this third-world example of public sector disfunctionality way back in 2001 it turned out to be due to worn-out point blades.
    New components had been procured, but diverted to a higher priority location (it was the time of ‘gauge corner cracking’, when Railtrack mismanagement had brought chaos to the rail system)
    Neither Railtrack nor Scotrail had bothered to inform SPT (to whom at that time the Gourock station operators were answerable).
    SPT were arguably useless anyway; the problem seems to have recurred in 2006, by then under the auspices of Network Rail, and it now looks as if it’s still a problem.
    The rail operators are now (I think) answerable to Transport Scotland; I wonder if they are proving as useless as SPT – and we have the juxtaposition of an ineptly run ferry service and an ineptly managed train service, courtesy of a government that has shown itself perfectly capable of addressing long-standing transport problems elsewhere.
    What is it about Gourock, that it seems to be a ‘black hole’ in terms of competent management of coordinated public transport?

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6 Responses to At the risk of Ferryman accusing me of …

  1. At the risk of Ferryman accusing me of not being a regular user of the Connel Bridge (I plead guilty) I’d like to know why – to the best of my knowledge – there’s no form of overhead warning barrier that triggers stop lights if an overheight vehicle approaches the bridge? This type of ‘fail-safe’ precaution is common enough in some European countries – for example, at level crossings where there’s an overhead electric line.
    In this country any construction site involving traffic under low power lines will be legally required to have ‘goalposts’, and it leaves me wondering if the trunk road authority is asleep – or maybe their managing agents get a percentage of the cost of repairing the likes of Connel Bridge? I just can’t believe that the cost of repairs – and disruption – is outweighed by the cost of fitting effective safety warnings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • What I’ve seen in some places is a hefty steel pipe suspended from cables over the road – no electrical system to go wrong, but a driver would have to be deaf or drunk not to be aware of a ‘hit’. (having said that, I wonder what was the driver’s excuse at Connel if – as it would appear – he ploughed on for some distance after hitting the first girder?)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • There is also a physical bar to warn drivers but with the lorries stereo on full you might not notice it even if you do hit it. Drivers are supposed to know what the height of their vehicles are and read the signs.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • In that case perhaps a reliable stop light system with flashing ‘overheight’ warning would be the obvious failsafe system – the flashing speed signs at the southern entrance to Inveraray and on Great Western Road near Drumchapel are very noticeable.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • As linnhe says, there is a recently-installed system of vehicle height sensors linked to NADIX-type display boards/flashing lights, but there have been some ‘teething troubles’ with these.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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