A van driver has become the latest victim of a notoriously narrow rail tunnel after getting wedged in the underpass.

The pick-up van got wedged in the aptly-named Skinny Bridge on Parkside in Darlington, which runs under the East Coast Mainline.

Police were called to the scene and it’s understood the driver, who was stuck for more than an hour, was told not to move until engineers could assess the damage.

The Northern Echo:

An eyewitness told the Echo: “It’s been there since before 11am.

“The driver was told by police to stay put until Network Rail arrive.

“The road is a known blackspot under the bridge and cars and vans get stuck there all the time. Police were turning cars away.”

Railings along the side of the tunnel were cut out so the driver could climb free from the van.

The Northern Echo:

Engineers were scene working at the site assessing whether any damage had been caused to the structure of the bridge.

The tunnel is understood to become narrower towards the Park Lane side, lulling some motorists into a false sense of security.

A Durham Police spokesperson said: "Police attended an incident at 10.40am today in which a van got stuck under the Skinny Bridge on Parkside, Darlington."

A Network Rail spokesperson added: “This morning at 10:47 Network Rail supported Durham Police after reports of an incident of two vans striking a railway bridge near Darlington station.

“One van was stuck and the handrails were removed to release the vehicle, with minor damage to the railway bridge.

The railway line was inspected and there was no impact to train services while the incident was ongoing.

“By 12pm the road was open as normal.”

It’s not the first time a vehicle has got stuck in the underpass.

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Last year a black Ford van got stuck in the tunnel for more than three hours.

The Northern Echo: A van got stuck in the tunnel last May.A van got stuck in the tunnel last May. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Previous victims to the passage also include a caravan and a Tesco delivery van which have both become stuck.