TWO drivers tried to reverse an abnormal-load lorry one and a half miles against the flow of traffic along the A64 York Outer Ring Road, York Magistrates’ Court heard.

David Foster, at the wheel of the lorry, and Paul Snelling, at the wheel of an escort vehicle, realised they should have turned off before they reached the Middlethorpe section of the dual carriageway, and they couldn’t get their high vehicle under the bridges ahead of them.

Mr Snelling said: “There was a road missed off the movement order which had been sent to the police. We had an 18-foot load and the bridges were 16 feet. “We are just sorry with what happened. It was a misjudgement, and it was a tragic situation.”

Police stopped them when they had gone 50 yards.

Cathy Turnbull, prosecuting, said police calculated that if they had got all the way to the turning they were intending to take, they would have driven one and a half miles in reverse towards any vehicles using the same carriageway.

Foster, 53, of Rochester Close, Scunthorpe, and Snelling, 42, of High Street, East Butterwick, near Scunthorpe, both admitted careless driving on February 15.

District judge Helen Coussins said: “It was just an error of judgement.”

She fined each man £108 with £85 costs and a £20 statutory surcharge and put three penalty points on each of their licences.

Both already had three points and Foster had a previous conviction for drink-driving in 2009.

Mr Snelling said they had been performing the reversing with care and had been trying to contact the police throughout, telling them about their predicament.

The incident had happened early in the morning when traffic was light.