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Swing Bridges Vhf Contact


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Is it just me, or have Reedham and Somerleyton swing bridges all but stopped replying to VHF calls?

It seemed to start last year or the year before and we noticed it again on Monday when we could hear a boat in front calling and calling Somerleyton to repeatedly ask when the bridge was next opening.  No response at all, just opened after five minutes or so.

I know they have installed the information panels which you can just about make out with binoculars at a semi-safe distance, but it just seems rude to ignore calls especially when people call ahead to coincide with openings.  By the time I can read the ones at Reedham coming downstream, I am past the 'no turn' point.

Do we go back to phoning them?  Do we go back to sound signals?  Seems silly if equipped with radios which have always worked fine up until now.  


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It might just be down to the fact they are lazy - I am unsure how many boats may require the bridge to swing but I can well imagine said operator knowing that there will be a 'window of opportunity' to swing the bridge in 5 minutes, the sign is saying so, so why bother to get up and answer a radio call.  Quite wrong to my mind - it is not as if they have to answer a lot of radio traffic - if I was on a boat that needed the bridge to swing and had been ignored, I would be getting in touch with Network Rail.


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Hi Robin,

We phone the two bridges, with our canopy down we can usually get under Reedham Bridge even at high water being as there is usually 10 foot at the bridge, not always the case however, we once came through with two inches to spare above our 9 foot 8 inch air draft. The issue with Reedham is that river is fast flowing there and there is little chance of being to turn (the signs do say no turning before the bridge).

Somerleyton Bridge we do need opening unless it is a very low tide (we had to do this when the bridge was out of order for a few weeks a  few years ago) Somerleyton however is OK to turn around before the bridge and do a circuit waiting for the bridge to open.




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Not tried this year but last year for sure Reedham have been a pain since the led sign went up. I assume they think you can see it and can take action. As you say it's not easy to see the sign going downriver unless you have a fly bridge. Which I don't!

somerleyton always seemed to answer.  In fact they have been quite funny at times. 

We always need a bridge swing anyway so will see how it goes Friday. 

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