Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail, is to explain how the organisation is working to reduce bridge strikes in an address to the Microlise Transport Conference on 20 May 2020.

The former Commissioner of Transport for London is one of the first confirmed speakers at the event, to be held at The Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

There are an estimated 2,000 bridge strikes annually across the UK, each costing an average of £13,500 in train delays and bridge repairs.

Network Rail puts the wider cost to the national economy as high as £23m once the value of undelivered goods, loss of productivity, vehicle damage and road congestion is also considered.

Hauliers are now being held legally accountable for associated damage to bridges and compensation costs to train passengers.

“The prevalence of bridge strikes and the resulting danger they pose, combined with the disruption they cause, should be a major concern for us all," Hendy said. "The transport sector must therefore make every effort to work together to actively reduce incidence levels.”

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Added Microlise CEO Nadeem Raza: “The safety of all rail and road users is a critical issue for fleet operators, so we’re delighted to welcome Sir Peter to speak at the conference.

“Bridge strikes happen far too frequently and are a major issue for HGV fleet operators. We’re delighted that Sir Peter is taking the time to address the issue, and in doing so, will be working collaboratively with the industry. With 1,200 delegates in the room from operators large and small, this update from such a leading figure will go a long way to helping operators to understand the issue, and how to manage the risk of strikes occurring.”

Microlise said this year's conference would offer a thought-provoking and engaging programme of speakers, complemented by four workshop areas, an exhibition featuring innovative industry suppliers and the opportunity to network with an audience of 1,200 people.

The one-day event attracts delegates from both managerial and operational areas across fleet transportation, regardless of fleet size, industry sector or technology usage. It is free to attend, with a programme designed to provide valuable insight to inform business and strategic decisions.