Damage to historic bridge was caused by head-on crash involving police and 'car thieves'
Damage to a 19th century bridge in Pelsall was caused by a head-on crash involving suspected car thieves and an unmarked police vehicle, it has been revealed.
York's Bridge next to the Fingerpost pub was shut after a crash left a large hole in one side of it on January 9.
Police have now said that the crash happened when a suspected stolen car tried to overtake another vehicle and struck an unmarked police vehicle heading in the opposite direction.
It was the stationary vehicle of an innocent driver that ended up hitting the wall after the crash.
Two suspects then fled the scene and are yet to be found, according to police.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "Police are investigating after a suspected stolen car hit two vehicles on Norton Road in Pelsall on Thursday 9 January at about 8.15pm.
"As the car tried to overtake another vehicle at the York's Bridge it struck an unmarked police vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.
"No one was seriously injured, but two offenders left the scene."
Drivers are currently unable to travel along the B4154 Norton Road/Lime Lane between Lichfield Road and Gorsey Lane and the A5 as a result of the damage to the bridge.
However temporary traffic lights are being installed with the aim of opening the bridge to single-file traffic by the end of Thursday.
The narrow brick-arch bridge over the Essington and Wyrley Canal was built in the mid-1800s and, according to Walsall Council, is no longer fit for modern traffic due to the weakness of the structure.
As a result the council has long wanted to build a replacement bridge but has faced years of difficulties and opposition from local residents.
Updated plans for a new £3 million structure directly next to the existing bridge were officially submitted in August and are due to be considered by the council's planning committee in February.
Anyone with any information about the crash is asked to contact police quoting crime reference number 20WS/7804G/20.
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