Van driver trapped on ‘donkey path’

The white van trapped on the donkey path
The white van trapped on the donkey path

A hapless white van driver was left looking like an ass when he got stuck at the bottom of a cobbled Whitby street known to locals as the ‘donkey path’.

The motorist ignored road signs saying ‘unsuitable for motor vehicles’ and found himself blocked in by gas works at the bottom of the steep pedestrianised street which runs parallel to the 199 steps that lead to Whitby Abbey.

After waiting around sheepishly for over an hour he was freed when gas workers boarded up the hole and he was able to drive off.

John Scott, 47, landlord of the nearby Board Inn, tweeted pictures of the marooned van with the caption “maybe he should have read the road signs.”

He said: “It’s unbelievable to see a van down there, but after you get to a certain point there is no return, you aren’t going to be able to reverse back up.

“I think he just wanted to get out of there, but it would have been funny if he had been trapped down there for three weeks.”

It is not the first time that motorists have got into trouble after heading down the ancient path, with residents reporting that they see vehicles on the steet on a weekly basis.

In 2008, the Whitby Gazette reported how a number of drivers had blamed their satellite navigation systems for erroneously directing them down the path.

A pair of holiday-makers from Birmingham had to be rescued by firefighters in 2012. Paul and Wendy Kendall burnt out the clutch on their Vauxhall Corsa after attempting to reverse back up the slope while trying to navigate their way to a holiday cottage on Henrietta Street.