Erskine Bridge Overload Detection System


The Erskine Bridge is a large a cable stayed box girder/cantilever bridge bridge which was designed by William Brown and opened on the 2nd July 1971 by Princess Anne. The bridge spans the River Clyde in west central Scotland connecting West Dunbartonshire with Renfrewshire. The estimated daily traffic across the Erskine Bridge is over 30,000 vehicles with a significant amount of these being heavy goods vehicles.

In 1996, the bridge was damaged by an oil rig which was being towed under it, resulting in partial closure for almost 4 months. This caused much disruption not just locally but also to the centre of Glasgow as the nearest possibilities for crossing the River Clyde locally are the already congested Clyde Tunnel and the very busy Kingston Bridge. So the requirement to ensure that the bridge has reduced damage caused by overloaded vehicles is very important as another closure is unthinkable.

As the tolls were removed in March 2006 there is a much reduced staffing level at the Erskine Bridge control office. Any weight detection system would have to be fully automated and work unmanned with minimum intervention. There was a need for a low cost and low maintenance solution that utilises limited road closure time.

One solution would have been to install a High Speed Weigh-in-Motion (HSWIM) system that logs vehicles axles weight data but unless the system is manned there is no way of identifying any overweight vehicles.To overcome this TDC have designed and installed a joint HSWIM and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system as part of a combined vehicle monitoring and bridge protection system.

The installed Hi-Trac 100+ logs the vehicle axle weight information using Class 1 BL Piezo Electric sensors and the system couples this data with the ANPR data to produce evidence showing all relevant information.There is an additional camera that takes 5 photos of the vehicle from a side-on view which can identify the haulage company and also the load carried if necessary. This also helps with clarifying if HGV axles are lifted when they shouldn’t be.

This system is fully operational and reports can be printed for overweight vehicles if necessary and the offending parties can be shown the evidence.

These results prove conclusively that combined ANPR and WIMS installations provide a stunningly effective targeting tool.

Transport Scotland


TDC Systems
30 Lynx Cresent, Weston Industrial Estate
Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset
England, United Kingdom
BS24 9BP

Telephone: +44 (0)1934 644 299
Fax: +44 (0)1934 644 255


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