A van driver who smashed into the bridge next to Ely station is facing not only prosecution but a claim against his insurers.

The 3.5 tonne van ignored warning signs and the driver carried on regardless before the impact brought him shuddering to a halt.

“He missed the signs,” bemoaned one of over 100 who responded on Policing East Cambridgeshire Facebook.

“The very same signs that can be clearly seen from Pluto.!”

Police remained philosophical.

“A perfect example of why you should always drive with attention to your surroundings, and not rely completely on your sat nav,” said their spokesperson on Facebook.

“The driver missed all of the signs warning him about the low bridge ahead, and continued to get stuck underneath it after following his sat nav directions...

“Needless to say, the driver was reported for driving without due care and attention.”

One other post remarked: “The problem is these vans can be hired and driven by anyone with a Cat B license who would normally be cruising around in an average sized car.

“They’re not made aware of any potential issues and there is no legal requirement for the vehicles height to be displayed in the cab for the driver to refer to.”

Another pointed out that “when I was training for my apprenticeship for Iceland for driving a 3.5 t van my trainer said if there is no height displayed in cab then you must pull over where it is safe and check height in manual but the problem is these people are just used to their cars.”

But another noted that “There is the subtle hint of a great big sign that illuminates to show the vehicle is over height.

“If the driver is so stupid not to comprehend then they deserve every penalty point and fine they get.”

Between April 1 2020 and March 31 2021 there were 1,624 bridge strikes across the rail network.

Network Rail says: “As well as potentially causing serious injuries and huge disruption, bridge strikes present a huge financial burden.

“The cost of a bridge strike includes not only repairs to the bridge and examination costs, but also includes compensation for train delays caused by an incident.”