Birmingham firm could prevent £23m ‘Bridge Strike’ problem

Birmingham firm could prevent £23m ‘Bridge Strike’ problem

Coeval could save taxpayers more than £23m a year by protecting crucial tunnels, bridges and overhead cables in the UK.

A Birmingham technology company, which has its headquarters in Harborne, believes its Intelligent Warning Systems can significantly reduce the chance of over-height vehicles hitting railway bridges and tunnels.

There were more than 1700 cases identified by Network Rail alone in 2017.

The system uses sensors to track over-height or overweight vehicles, well before they get to a potential hazard, using a high-definition LED sign to display a message warning the driver to stop or divert to a different route.

These signs are easy to fit, visible in all conditions, and are vandal resistant - completely eradicating the need for drivers to know the height and weight of their vehicles.

Coeval has been supplying this technology to local authorities and highways agencies for over 30 years, yet many organisations still prefer to invest in driver awareness campaigns that don’t appear to be working.

Gary Higgins, managing director, said: “So-called ‘bridge strikes’ continue to cost rail operators, passengers and road users significant time, money and inconvenience with some even proving fatal.”

“Even in the last few weeks, there have been four railway bridges hit by overheight vehicles, with each one estimated to cost £14,000 and take roughly 2 hours to clear up.

“Despite several failed attempts to stop the problem, the real answer has been in front of our eyes for over 30 years.”

“Our Overheight Vehicle Detection System doesn’t try to change driver behaviour, we prefer to focus on preventing collisions before they happen by taking human error out of the equation’’.

“We’ve fitted these systems to the Dartford Tunnel, a number of high profile roads in Edinburgh and in cities in Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore and Greece. It’s the only solution that works!

“'I remain amazed that the expense and disruption caused by bridge strikes are not avoided by the simple installation of a cost-effective Overheight Vehicle Detection System.”

Coeval was acquired by Gary in November 2013 and has more than doubled its sales to over £1.5m in the following four years.

Additional new products are set to come to market shortly, with the Birmingham-born entrepreneur confident of pushing sales above the £5m figure between now and 2021, resulting in significant new employment opportunities within the business.