POLICE are searching for two men in a 4x4 after they caused damage to a bus shelter while driving recklessly through a rural village.

The incident was witnessed by Durham County Councillor John Shuttleworth who had a near-miss with the car.

The crash happened at approximately 6.30pm on Wednesday, September 9 on Front Street.

Durham Police received a call reporting that a vehicle had crashed into a bus shelter at Rookhope causing extensive damage.

Dave Wafer, Durham County Council’s head of transport and contract services, said: “We are aware of the incident at Rookhope involving a bus shelter. Our operations team attended the site to inspect the shelter and, unfortunately, the damage is significant and cannot be repaired meaning the shelter will need to be demolished.

“The shelter is currently fenced off to protect the public until the demolition can take place, which is scheduled for next week. Once the shelter has been safely removed we will rebuild a bus shelter in the same style as the existing one.”

Cllr John Shuttleworth said: “I expect the Police to apprehend the culprit for leaving the scene of an accident, and expect those responsible to pay for the damage to the bus shelter, which will have to be demolished and rebuilt. The vehicle was travelling well in excess of the 30 miles per hour speed limit, swerved across the road, which accounts for the excess damage of the bus shelter, a few more inches and it would have been me probably killed.”

The vehicle, a Toyota 4x4 carrying two men, is then reported to have left the area heading towards Eastgate.

Officers attended the scene to make sure the area was safe while an unsuccessful search for the vehicle was carried out.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101 quoting incident number 0362 of September 9.