A hapless Kurdish van driver caused chaos after ignoring six
warning signs and wedging his vehicle under a low railway bridge.
The white Mercedes luton van delivering bread and milk was trapped under the 9ft (2.7m) high bridge on the A142 Station Road in Ely, Cambs., for almost four hours.
Firefighters had to saw the roof off embarrassed Kawa Mohammed’s 3.5tonne van after a tow truck failed to drag it free, so the road could reopen following the smash at 7am.
There are two height restriction signs on the approach followed by a warning for high vehicles to turn round and three signs and hazard lines on the bridge itself.
Ten firefighters, 15 staff from Network Rail, a tow truck and at least four police officers were at the scene working to remove it.
Speaking at the scene, Mr Mohammed said: ”I deliver bread and milk to
hospitals and shops and always drive this route.
”But today was the first time I have used a taller vehicle.”
Market trader Chris Alderton, 30, of Ely, who regularly drives the route in a lower van, said the driver ”must be blind” not to notice all the warning signs.
He said: ”There are signs all the way along the road warning drivers.
”He really got wedged in here it took ages to get him free.
”I’m not sure if he could read the signs in English. You shouldn’t be on the road if you can’t work out what a bright yellow 4ft high warning sign says.”
Trains on the mainline between London and Norwich were ordered to travel slowly over the bridge and cars were delayed.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ”The van was stuck quite firmly under the bridge and a rescue vehicle from Cambridge was sent to the scene with cutting equipment to remove the roof.”
Cambridgeshire police said the driver had not been arrested at the scene, but could face possible charges.