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Stuck Lorry Causes Traffic Chaos on Salt Box Road

Published on: 8 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 9 Feb, 2017

The lorry with its rear wheels stuck in mud

A stuck lorry caused rush-hour traffic chaos this morning (February 8) on Salt Box Road, Worplesdon. The road links the A320 Woking Road with the A322 which goes through Worplesdon and on towards Bagshot.

The lorry became stuck on a muddy road-side verge when the driver, having been confronted with the railway bridge, realised his vehicle was too high to pass under, attempted to turn around.

The driver had attempted to turn having been confronted with the railway bridge, max height 3.5m.

One car driver caught up in the queue told The Guildford Dragon NEWS: “I called the police on 101 at 9.05am and asked them to attend as police assistance would be needed to remove the lorry using a suitably heavy recovery vehicle.”

Traffic diversions were in place for most of the morning causing long queues to build up. Surrey Police report that the road was not re-opened until 11.50am.

Traffic queue tailing back towards the A322 Worplesdon Road.

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Responses to Stuck Lorry Causes Traffic Chaos on Salt Box Road

  1. Gina Redpath Reply

    February 8, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I had exactly this problem with a French coach full of students visiting Guildford. There had been a terrible accident on the Woodbridge Road and the roads were jammed up as they always are after an accident.

    There was no warning sign that we picked up about this low bridge, we had to make all the cars move so the coach could reverse to this very spot in order to do a U-turn. It was a nightmare.

  2. Dave Middleton Reply

    February 8, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Over the past 20 years that I have lived on Grange Road, just off Salt Box Road and very near to this bridge, I have seen umpteen lorries, coaches, horseboxes and the like that have driven down Salt Box Road and been confronted by this bridge. All of them then cause inconvenience and danger to other road users by reversing back along Salt Box Road to escape.

    Incidentally, I can never understand why the drivers always reverse back against the flow of traffic, instead of moving over to the other lane and reversing with the traffic flow, which would surely be quicker and safer.

    The former owners of Stringers Barn got so fed up with large vehicles attempting to turn around by reversing into their drive and damaging their fences and the surface of their drive, that they installed gates at the road edge to stop this expensive damage.

    It has to be said also, that to reverse a fully laden heavy goods vehicle onto soft ground as in this case is exceptionally foolish.

    The drivers of these large vehicles have absolutely no excuse. There are some four or five warning signs on the approach at each end of Salt Box Road, on both the Worplesdon Road and on the Woking Road, that warn of this low bridge, whichever way you approach from. I fully understand that the average car driver may well not register these signs as they do not affect them.

    However, drivers of large goods vehicles and passenger service vehicles, are supposedly professional drivers and it is quite right to expect them to notice such signs and not to drive into a road restricted by such a low bridge.

    These drivers should also know the height of their vehicles and indeed for some of the vehicles concerned, it is a legal requirement that the vehicles height is displayed in the cab where the driver can see it.

    The excuse of, “I was following the sat-nav” doesn’t hold water either, as there are specific sat-navs for large vehicles that can be programmed with the height of the vehicle and will avoid such routes. Equally, a driver of non-UK origins has no excuse, as the road signs are virtually identical worldwide.

    I don’t know how lenient transport managers are these days, but not such a very long time ago, an incident such as this would probably be a sacking offence and certainly would be cause for “an interview without biscuits”. A police summons for Driving Without Due Care and Attention or Inconsiderate Driving would certainly follow.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    February 9, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Three hours to get him out?

    The lorry was equipped with a HIAB crane – he could have self-rescued in under half an hour using the tree opposite.

    Another case of waiting for the perfect time and equipment to arrive. When will clearing the road for traffic move up the scale of importance?

    • Dave Middleton Reply

      February 9, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      I have got to disagree with Jim Allen.

      Recovery of a vehicle as large as that is not a job to be attempted by an amateur.

      The high mounting point of the HIAB arm is not best suited for pulling operations – it’s intended for lifting, not pulling.

      Also, with a vehicle of that weight, there’s a better than even chance that the tree, despite its size and age, would have been pulled over, bearing in mind the sodden ground in that area, right next to the intake silt pond for Britten’s pond. Anyway, I doubt if the driver would have had access to pulling strops of the correct rating.

      It was a job best left to the professional recovery crew with all the correct and safe kit.

  4. Harry Elson Reply

    February 10, 2017 at 11:52 am

    There are plenty of solutions to this regular occurrence but it is down to money. A sensor and flashing sign would stop this problem in its tracks or a height restriction bar if you want to go cheap which would be quick and easy to erect placed at the entrance to Saltbox road at both ends.

    This is proven technology but alas the council have no money for basic road repairs and no ideas how to sort out problems only coming up with traffic solutions that will never be built.

    • Dave Middleton Reply

      February 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      The problem with Mr Elson’s suggestion of a physical height restriction bar at each end of Salt Box Road, is that it would deny large vehicle access to Stinger’s Barn, Britten’s Pond and on the other side of the bridge, the properties on the lane that leads up to Whitmoor Common.

      A solar powered, LGV / PSV activated sign, somewhere close to the Woking Road end and perhaps near to the junction with Grange Road on the other side might help, but the fact remains that these drivers are supposedly professionals and should be able to spot the multiple existing warning signs.

  5. John Lomas Reply

    February 10, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    There are a few arguments against the restriction bar solution on the western end of Salt Box Road:
    1) Access to the northern end of Grange Rd.
    2) Access to the premises up the lane about 15yds short of the bridge.
    3) Access to the premises 100yds into Salt Box rd from the Jacob’s Well End

    It could be argued that these barriers could be locked and unlocked for access, but I have only seen such arrangements on private roads not on the public highway.

    The height sensor and flashing sign idea is feasible but would still involve vehicles having to reverse out from the sensor area or turning round.

    Sometimes these problems are exacerbated by those expecting deliveries not warning the delivery company that there is only one accessible route for them.

  6. Brian Holt Reply

    February 12, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Now is time for a weight limit on Salt Box Road to stop large heavy lorries, and high vehicles using that road and getting stuck under the low railway bridge.

    Any driver then getting stuck or has to reverse back to the end of the road should be charged with failing to obey the road traffic signs.

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