Bungling Tesco lorry driver causes rail chaos in Cornwall

Bungling Tesco lorry driver causes rail chaos in Cornwall after crashing into bridge near Plymouth as ALL trains are cancelled or suffer massive delays

  • Lorry hit bridge in north of Plymouth yesterday afternoon.

    Locals heard bang 

  • Route taking trains to and from Cornwall will be disrupted for at least 48 hours 
  • Wedged HGV lifted up brickwork, making bridge unsafe for trains to pass over
  • Today one service per hour is allowed to cross, causing delays and cancellations 

By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 12:49, 31 August 2021 | Updated: 13:47, 31 August 2021

Train services in and out of Cornwall will be disrupted for at least two days with people urged not to travel to the West Country after an ‘idiot’ Tesco driver got his lorry wedged under a bridge.

Locals heard a huge ‘bang’ when the HGV became wedged under the low arch in Plymouth yesterday afternoon and the mainline won’t be fully open again until Wednesday evening. 

Great Western Railway (GWR) has now advised people not to travel where possible for the next 24 hours at least, leaving thousands of holidaymakers struggling to get out of Cornwall after the long weekend.

Yesterday trains were unable to enter Cornwall after the Tesco truck first got wedged at around 3pm on Monday after trying to squeeze under the low bridge in Mannamead, a northern suburb of the naval city.

Photographs of the Tesco lorry shows it is completely wedged under the bridge, shifting the bricks upwards before grinding to a halt. 

Trains were stopped to and from Cornwall  after a Tesco lorry driver crashed into a railway bridge and got stuck

Bungling Tesco lorry driver causes rail chaos in Cornwall

Locals described hearing a loud bang with the wedged lorry set to cause disruption in the West Country for at least two days 

Bungling Tesco lorry driver causes rail chaos in Cornwall

The lorry is so wedged the brickwork of the bridge in Plymouth has been lifted upwards and damaged

Keith Fletcher, who lives just by the bridge, said: ‘We heard a massive bang which we don’t normally hear when someone hits the bridge.

‘The lorry has actually lifted the stonework about three inches up, really this is the most damage I’ve seen and I’ve lived here for about 20 years.’

Today there is only one train an hour in either direction meaning that Cornwall, whose trains must pass over the bridge, has been largely cut off from the rail network. 

Network Rail have since confirmed that train services would be affected between Plymouth and Totnes through to Wednesday, September 1 at the earliest.   

Spokesman Dean Shaw said: ‘Unfortunately the nature of the railway down in Plymouth and into the South West, this is the main line that connects the South West with the rest of the country.

Bungling Tesco lorry driver causes rail chaos in Cornwall

Trains into Cornwall travel via Plymouth, meaning problems on the railways will cut the county off 

‘The disruption has been fairly far and wide and we are doing all we can to get the line open as quickly and safely as possible.’

Passengers have slammed the lack of information from GWR and said the incident highlighted the poor travel infrastructure in the West Country.  

One asked: ‘So does @Tesco pay compensation to all those going to & from Cornwall whose train has been cancelled or delayed due to this idiot driver?’  

Another caught in the chaos wrote:  ‘As if trains in the westcountry could get any more unreliable, a lorry got stuck under a bridge and now loads of services in Devon and Cornwall have been delayed or cancelled’.