A DELIVERY driver caused such 'severe damage' when he collided into an historic lamppost it is unlikely to be repairable.

Investigations are underway to determine if any part of the ornate street light in Minster Gates can be salvaged after a driver reversed into it on Monday, March 21.

City of York Council engineers took the lamppost away, saying at the time the costs of replacing it would be covered by insurance.

The removal of the post provoked a mixed reaction, with Anne Braithwaite, of nearby Braithwaite Gallery, voicing dismay that it had been 'chopped up into little pieces that one man could carry'.

It has since been suggested the light may have been the last survivor of a network of similar lamps installed to bring electric light to York city centre after the Foss Islands power station opened in 1900.

James Gilchrist, director environment, transport and planning at the council, said a Northern Power Grid link box had also been 'seriously damaged', and Northern Power had been working on repairs, including to live underground cables.

"Following excavation works it was agreed with the council not to reinstate the paved area until the base of the lamppost could be removed, which was only possible once it had been disconnected from the electrical supply." He said the work had been carried out in this order to try and enable the team to preserve as much of the original post as possible.

“While the initial excavation should be filled soon, the full programme of works won’t be completed for some time.

"Our teams are still investigating if repairs might be possible to the post, and if not they will need to source an appropriate replacement. Due to the complexity of the task this is likely to take a minimum of several months to complete."

He said the safety of the public had been the primary concern after the incident.

Damaged to the shaft of the post was 'very severe' while other elements including the scroll bracket were also damaged.

"Unfortunately, the damage inflicted to the lamppost is likely to be severe enough that a repair may not be possible. While we are mindful of the historic setting, the safety and wellbeing of residents and visitors is our main focus, and a repair will only be considered if we can ensure the post will be totally safe in the future.

“If repairing the post is not a safe solution, any replacement would be reflective of the area and in keeping with the historic nature of the location.

"We already have multiple historic style lamp posts around the city centre, including some on Museum Street and Deangate. Any historical style replacement would likely be similar to these."