Driver's senior moment leads to car getting stuck on Kennet and Avon Canal towpath

This Is Wiltshire: The car on the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath today. Picture by Paul Morris The car on the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath today. Picture by Paul Morris

An elderly man visiting Devizes took a wrong turning in his car and ended up stuck on the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath.

The driver, who is in his early seventies, was unable to turn his Vauxhall Astra round and tried to carry on driving on the towpath to find an exit but got stuck after about half a mile and summoned help.

The man got on to the towpath by driving down a ramp near the Hourglass pub, Horton Avenue, and was heading towards Coate bridge.

The driver’s mishap happened at about 11pm on Saturday and the car was still there today.

It is half on and half off the towpath and blocking the way for cyclists, although walkers can get by. The Astra has a few scrapes but is not thought to be badly damaged.

Police said there was no sign of intoxication on the part of the driver and he drove on to the towpath in error. They said as he is not local he took a wrong turning.

The Canal and River Trust, which is responsible for the canal, was liasiing with the driver’s insurance company to recover the car and hoped to remove it today.

A spokesman said: “It will have to be lifted out by crane and we will need access to farmland to do that.

"The driver of the car was very apologetic about the whole thing.”

Comments (8)

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4:56pm Wed 30 Jul 14

bigbadjohn says...

"The driver, who is in his early seventies" Say no more. Compulsory driving tests for all over 70's now.
"The driver, who is in his early seventies" Say no more. Compulsory driving tests for all over 70's now. bigbadjohn
  • Score: 4

6:42pm Wed 30 Jul 14

South Stand says...

bigbadjohn wrote:
"The driver, who is in his early seventies" Say no more. Compulsory driving tests for all over 70's now.
........and what should happen to the youngsters who do similar stupid and often more dangerous things?
[quote][p][bold]bigbadjohn[/bold] wrote: "The driver, who is in his early seventies" Say no more. Compulsory driving tests for all over 70's now.[/p][/quote]........and what should happen to the youngsters who do similar stupid and often more dangerous things? South Stand
  • Score: -1

11:09pm Wed 30 Jul 14

bill oddie says...

South Stand wrote:
bigbadjohn wrote:
"The driver, who is in his early seventies" Say no more. Compulsory driving tests for all over 70's now.
........and what should happen to the youngsters who do similar stupid and often more dangerous things?
They too should have to retake their tests. Unfortunately it's less likely that they're fortunate enough to be alive to be able to do so. However, I'm sure there aren't too many cases of young drivers who have driven down a towpath after having come to the conclusion it was a road.
Pass me the Werther's please.
[quote][p][bold]South Stand[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigbadjohn[/bold] wrote: "The driver, who is in his early seventies" Say no more. Compulsory driving tests for all over 70's now.[/p][/quote]........and what should happen to the youngsters who do similar stupid and often more dangerous things?[/p][/quote]They too should have to retake their tests. Unfortunately it's less likely that they're fortunate enough to be alive to be able to do so. However, I'm sure there aren't too many cases of young drivers who have driven down a towpath after having come to the conclusion it was a road. Pass me the Werther's please. bill oddie
  • Score: 32

6:55am Thu 31 Jul 14

Bristolian_ExPat says...

South Stand wrote:
bigbadjohn wrote:
"The driver, who is in his early seventies" Say no more. Compulsory driving tests for all over 70's now.
........and what should happen to the youngsters who do similar stupid and often more dangerous things?
They normally get hounded by the police given producers, points and bans. I drive a lot for my job and often see "senior" drivers doing 50 mph on the motorway getting overtaken by trucks, failing to negotiate multi lane junctions correctly and generally failing to drive with care and attention. Unfortunately the police/DVLA don't seem to have the appetite to do anything about the increasing problem of older incapable drivers on the road and will continue to go after the easier target of the young.
The gentleman in the case should be charged with driving without due care and attention, driving down a towpath today leads to driving down the wrong side of the motorway tomorrow.
[quote][p][bold]South Stand[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigbadjohn[/bold] wrote: "The driver, who is in his early seventies" Say no more. Compulsory driving tests for all over 70's now.[/p][/quote]........and what should happen to the youngsters who do similar stupid and often more dangerous things?[/p][/quote]They normally get hounded by the police given producers, points and bans. I drive a lot for my job and often see "senior" drivers doing 50 mph on the motorway getting overtaken by trucks, failing to negotiate multi lane junctions correctly and generally failing to drive with care and attention. Unfortunately the police/DVLA don't seem to have the appetite to do anything about the increasing problem of older incapable drivers on the road and will continue to go after the easier target of the young. The gentleman in the case should be charged with driving without due care and attention, driving down a towpath today leads to driving down the wrong side of the motorway tomorrow. Bristolian_ExPat
  • Score: 12

8:04pm Thu 31 Jul 14

blackstone says...

It needs a crane to get it out?/

If the old boy drove it down there I am sure I could back it out-------even if it needed the help of a small tractor to pull it
It needs a crane to get it out?/ If the old boy drove it down there I am sure I could back it out-------even if it needed the help of a small tractor to pull it blackstone
  • Score: 12

10:53am Fri 1 Aug 14

MattBB says...

blackstone wrote:
It needs a crane to get it out?/

If the old boy drove it down there I am sure I could back it out-------even if it needed the help of a small tractor to pull it
Nah, elf an safety mate! More than my job's worth, etc.
[quote][p][bold]blackstone[/bold] wrote: It needs a crane to get it out?/ If the old boy drove it down there I am sure I could back it out-------even if it needed the help of a small tractor to pull it[/p][/quote]Nah, elf an safety mate! More than my job's worth, etc. MattBB
  • Score: 6

10:26am Wed 6 Aug 14

GrumpyLocal says...

I'm not going to justify the way some young drivers drive but will say that there is a difference between someone driving quickly and paying attention to what they are doing, or someone that is completely unaware of their surroundings in the first place.
Whilst you can easily say that someone choosing to drive fast is worse, is it any more dangerous or likely to cause an accident than people not paying attention or being aware of their surroundings?
We know the stat's say that young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than people over 50/60, but in theory they cover many more miles in the process. I know I now do less miles than I did 15 years ago so am I a better driver or less likely to be involved in a crash as I'm on the road less?
I'm not going to justify the way some young drivers drive but will say that there is a difference between someone driving quickly and paying attention to what they are doing, or someone that is completely unaware of their surroundings in the first place. Whilst you can easily say that someone choosing to drive fast is worse, is it any more dangerous or likely to cause an accident than people not paying attention or being aware of their surroundings? We know the stat's say that young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than people over 50/60, but in theory they cover many more miles in the process. I know I now do less miles than I did 15 years ago so am I a better driver or less likely to be involved in a crash as I'm on the road less? GrumpyLocal
  • Score: 3

12:22am Thu 21 Aug 14

bill oddie says...

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-bir
mingham-28866050
http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-bir mingham-28866050 bill oddie
  • Score: 1

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