An HGV driver who failed to safely stow a digger bucket on the back of his truck struck a bridge over the A23 and caused hours of delays.

“Shocking” video footage of the incident showed Joshua Scofield, 30, travelling southbound down the West Sussex A road last November with the digger bucket hoisted high in the air.

This was despite an alarm system on the vehicle warning the driver of the fault.

The digger struck a bridge near Warninglid with such force the bucket was cut off from the vehicle in the impact, while Scofield continued to drive.

Police said he eventually stopped at Bolney and was questioned by officers, who also discovered Scofield’s truck had two defective tyres that could have blown out.

He was charged and appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court where he admitted dangerous driving.

Scofield was disqualified from driving for one year and must take an extended retest before he is allowed to get behind the wheel again.

The court also ordered him to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, pay £500 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

PC Barry Freeman from the commercial vehicle unit said: “The footage from the A23 is shocking, Scofield is extremely lucky not to have killed or seriously injured himself or another road user.

“The collision meant that the A23 had to be closed in both directions while engineers inspected the bridge to see if it was secure.

“It is the responsibility of drivers to make sure their vehicle is roadworthy and that the load has been safely secured or stowed.

“We are pleased that a dangerous driver has been taken off our roads.”