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Oldest working Roman arch in Britain damaged by lorry driver

The oldest Roman arch in Britain which is still used by traffic has been damaged after a lorry driver who was following his sat nav became wedged underneath it.

Oldest working Roman arch in Britain damaged by lorry driver
Experts are assessing damage to the oldest Roman arch in the UK still used by traffic after a lorry driver 
got stuck following his sat nav [Credit: Richard Vamplew/Media Lincs]
Police were called to the third century Newport Arch in Lincoln after a distribution lorry became lodged under the Grade I listed edifice at 1pm on Thursday.

Fragments of stone from the monument could be clearly seen on the ground after it took over half an hour to free the HGV.

Newport Arch is the name given to the remains of a 3rd-century gate which formed the northern entrance in to the Roman colony of Lincoln. The structure is unique in the United Kingdom as the oldest arch still used by road traffic.

The lorry from local distribution company Rase was only released after all four of its tyres were let down.

One local woman who witnessed the impact and spoke to the driver said: "He said he was following his SatNav."

Chris Hawkins, from Lincoln College, added: "He just delivered to us. Said he's not driven around Lincoln for 25 years. Would have had more weight on and maybe made it through if he had delivered up there first."

Oldest working Roman arch in Britain damaged by lorry driver
The lorry's tyres had to be let down to allow it to be freed [Credit: Richard Vamplew/Media Lincs]
But other locals showed less sympathy. College student Nathan Topham said: "Isn't it Roman? That would make it two millenia in age, silly man."

Lynne Parker added: "Well the arch has been there 1000s of years, it hasn't changed in the last 25 years."

Kieron Manning, planning manager at City of Lincoln Council, said: “We were notified of the incident at Newport Arch by the council’s CCTV operator just after the lorry got stuck.

"Members of our building control team quickly made their way to the site and, after assessing the situation, advised the driver to reverse out in order to free the vehicle.

“Once the lorry was free our staff inspected the arch and identified a small number of superficial scrapes.

“At this stage, we do not believe that there is any permanent structural damage. However, as a safety measure we have contacted the company we recently worked with on the restoration of the arch and asked them to attend the site and provide their expert advice on the matter.”

In May 1964 a goods lorry struck the arch while attempting to pass under it and caused damage which cost over £1,500 to repair.

Source: The Telegraph [May 18, 2017]

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