Birmingham firm has answer to Bridge Strikes question

Claim that new design will save lives and save money.

A Birmingham technology company could save lives and taxpayers more than £23 million a year by protecting crucial tunnels, bridges and overhead cables in the UK.

Coeval, which has its Headquarters in Harborne, believes its Intelligent Warning Systems significantly reduce the chance of overheight vehicles hitting railway bridges and tunnels – with more than 1700 cases identified by Network Rail alone in 2017. The system uses sensors to track overheight 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 thirty years, yet many organisations are still preferring to invest in driver awareness campaigns that simply aren’t working.

“So-called bridge strikes continue to cost rail operators, passengers and road users significant time, money and inconvenience with some even proving fatal,” explained Gary Higgins, Coeval’s Managing Director. “Even in the last few weeks, there has been four railway bridges hit by overheight vehicles, with each one estimated to cost £14,000 and take roughly two hours to clear up. Despite several failed attempts to stop the problem, the real answer has been in front of our eyes for over thirty years.”

He continued: “Our Overheight Vehicle Detection System doesn’t try to change driver behavior, 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 £1.5 million 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. For further information, visit