Ludlow road 'to be closed for weeks' after lorry damages town's landmark Buttercross
A road in Ludlow will be closed for weeks after a centuries old Grade I Listed building was left crumbling by what was believed to be a "lost truck driver".
King Street will be closed 24/7 for the foreseeable future after the Buttercross was badly damaged during an incident overnight on Wednesday.
Councillors believe a lorry driver hit the building while trying to avoid an overnight closure of the A49.
Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North, Andy Boddington, said the damage is the "last thing we need as Ludlow recovers from the Covid-19 lockdown".
Councillor Boddington said: "The suspicion is that it was a lost truck driver trying to get around the overnight closure of the A49.
"Whatever vehicle it was, it must have been severely damaged. Trucks like the one that hit the Buttercross are here today and scrapped tomorrow.
"The Buttercross has been a central feature of our town for more than two-and-a-half centuries. It has been knocked about in the past but nothing like the damage last night. We are on the verge of a permanent closure of King Street."
Shropshire Council has deemed the building safe, but fencing will be erected and Councillor Boddington said the closure of King Street "could last many months".
The road, which goes between the Grade II Listed Bodenhams building and the Buttercross, has long proved a challenge for drivers, with both structures having withstood numerous crashes in the past.
Councillor Boddington added: "We are looking at a closure of King Street that could last many months.
"Many residents will welcome that. It will create an enjoyable pedestrian atmosphere and space to look at shops rather than squeeze by people you are meant to be social distancing from.
"But there will be difficulties getting deliveries into the town centre.
"This is the last thing we need as Ludlow recovers from the Covid-19 lockdown. But we should see it as an opportunity to think about how we manage our town and whether we can live without vehicles competing with pedestrians on King Street."
Anyone with any information on the damage should contact Ludlow Town Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or West Mercia Police on 101.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111 or crimestoppers-uk.org
Shropshire Council has been contacted for more information.