We live next to Britain's low bridge nicknamed 'van-eater'December 6, 2023
EXCLUSIVE We live next to Britain’s most notorious bridge the ‘van-eater’ – there are so many crashes that it’s sending our dogs mad and cutting our WiFi
- READ MORE: Roof of double-decker bus is torn off after hitting a low bridge
Locals living next to Britain’s most notorious low bridge nicknamed the ‘van-eater’ have called for a ban on all HGV drivers using the road – following dozens of crashes.
Frustrated residents branded the regularly hit 2.4metre (7ft 9′) high overpass – which sits above Wintringham Road in Grimsby, Lincolnshire – a ‘menace’ and a ‘nightmare’.
They have blamed van drivers for the regular crashes at the bridge over several decades, which leave their houses trembling and sound like ‘bombs going off’.
In the last year alone five vans have struck the bridge, with pictures showing how vehicles have been ripped open by the force of the smashes.
Now residents say they are fed up of the disruption that the accident black spot has caused to their lives.
Michelle Goodfellow, 53, who lives ten houses from the bridge, said she would support the council if they decided to stop large vehicles going down the road entirely.
The bridge on Wintringham Road in Grimsby is famous for being hit by lorries and vans
A road was blocked after a bus it the bridge, causing significant damage to the front of the vehicle
Michelle Goodfellow, 53, (pictured) who lives ten houses from the bridge, said she would support the council if they decided to stop large vehicles going down the road entirely
The 2.4metre high overpass – which sits above Wintringham Road in Grimsby, Lincolnshire
The restaurant worker said: ‘It’s a menace. There’s plenty of signage saying how low it is. So I think drivers should know the height of their vehicles.
‘When one hits, it makes you jump because it is such a loud bang. It makes my dog go mad. He gets a fright from it.
‘I’ve lived here for more than 30 years. I’ve seen dozens of crashes.
‘I wonder if it looks deceptive because it’s downhill. So in the middle, it’s going to look like there’s more room than at the top.
She added: ‘People know it as the ‘van eater bridge’. It definitely has a reputation. So I think it would be a good idea to ban all vans.’
Michelle remembered how on one occasion a supermarket delivery driver who hit the bridge was then looted by locals after his van was ripped open.
She said: ‘I remember an Asda van that hit and people just started looting it, grabbing the stuff out the back – the shopping. So it’s creating a bit of social disorder as well.
‘For shopping deliveries, some will park up the street rather than coming onto this bit, so they don’t have the hassle of turning around. It’s a nightmare.’
Kim Burt, 49, a carer who lives seven homes from the bridge, said a ban on high-sided vehicles coming down the road might be one step too far.
Another lorry is seen crashing into Wintringham Road Bridge in Grimsby
The bridge can take regular cars going under it but several vans and lorries have crashed
Michelle says the bangs are as loud as bombs when a vehicle crashes into the bridge
READ MORE: Roof of double-decker bus is torn off after hitting a low bridge during morning rush hour – in latest crash at trouble hotspot
But she agreed that those to blame were the drivers who were not paying attention to the signage that covers the structure.
The mother said: ‘I’ve been here just over two years and I think there have been four or five vans that have come a cropper underneath it.
‘I’ve not actually witnessed them hit it, but I’ve heard it and it echoes right through the house. It’s a very loud bang when they go under it.
‘It’s like a bomb going off. The house even rattles. I’ve been outside and seen the neighbours looking – and I’ve then just seen a pile of a van underneath the bridge.’
she added: ‘I think the drivers are to blame. You’ve got a big yellow and black strip across the top of it, and there’s a sign that states it’s a low bridge.
‘It’s 2.4m high. So I think everybody should know the heights of their vans. I put that down to the drivers – and their error. I think the signage is quite adequate.’
Kim said she’d become accustomed to hearing the loud bangs when vans hit the bridge now and knew what to expect.
She said: I’m a bit more used to it now, it’s more commonplace.
‘Luckily enough the van drivers that do come here and know about the bridge do turn around in the road and go back up.
The bridge has a sign warning people about the height of the bridge after several collisions took place
Shelbie, who works in telecoms, thinks there should be more signage warning drivers about the low bridge
The ceiling of the bridge appears to be scratched with markings
READ MORE: 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
‘I think it’s about people taking the chance that the van’s going to fit because they don’t want to go around the long way.’
Shelbie Peters, 25, moved into her three-bedroom terraced home near the bridge two years ago and didn’t know about the problems with the bridge at first.
But she says when she heard a van crash into it for the first time, it was ‘a big shock’ and initially ‘thought it was an earthquake.’
The mother-of-one said: ‘I didn’t know about it at first, it was a big shock. I thought it was an earthquake outside when it happened for the first time.
‘Your whole house sort of wobbles like an earthquake, there’s been times when it has cut my WiFi out.
‘It was quite often when I first moved in but now it doesn’t seem as often, but that might be because I’ve got really used to it.’
Shelbie, who works in telecoms, thinks there should be more signage warning drivers about the low bridge.
She added: ‘It’s a one-way road to go under the bridge, but that doesn’t stop people coming from both sides. People do speed a lot as well.
‘I don’t think vans should be banned but there should be more signage because they have to get right to the front of the bridge to see there’s a limit on the height.
‘Then it’s quite hard for them to turn around so they go under and risk it.’
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