New bridge alert technology has been successfully trialled by Stagecoach on its buses in Cambridge.
The new technology will now be installed on about 4,000 double decker buses and high coaches across England, Scotland and Wales as part of a £4million investment.
Its intelligent GreenRoad system uses GPS vehicle location data and mapping services to alert bus drivers to nearby low bridges.
If the technology determines that the bus is heading towards a low bridge, it will sound an in-cab alert, allowing a safe exit route that avoids the bridge.
Training and briefing is now getting underway for Stagecoach’s engineers and drivers to help them install and use the new software.
Around 18,000 low bridges across the UK are being mapped into the new system in advance of the full roll-out of the technology planned by late summer 2021.
Data published by Network Rail shows that there were 1,714 railway bridge strikes across the country in the 2019-20 financial year. Most of these incidents involve heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), with between 40 and 50 a year related to buses.
Sam Greer, Engineering Director for Stagecoach, said: “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.
“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.”