Police seek digger driver who trashed brand new Travelodge – The Guardian

Police seek digger driver who trashed brand new Travelodge – The Guardian

Reception area of Liverpool hotel was destroyed reportedly because of a dispute over wages

The digger smashes into the Travelodge in Liverpool.

The digger smashes into the Travelodge in Liverpool.
Photograph: Samuel White

Police are appealing for information after a man used a digger to destroy the reception area of a new Travelodge hotel on the day building was due to be completed.

Footage shared on social media showed the vehicle repeatedly smashing into the hotel on Edge Lane, Liverpool.

“The handover was today, everything completed, we’d put the last tile in, cleaned up and made sure everything was perfect,” said Samuel White, a ceiling fixer. “Then some idiot in a mini digger decided to drive through the middle of the building.” White said the destruction went on for “a good 20 or 30 minutes”.

White repeated claims made on social media that the driver was angry over a pay dispute involving £600. While the claims could not be independently verified, a voice on the footage can be heard saying: “That’s what happens when people don’t pay their wages.”

In the video, a digger is seen smashing up various parts of the building, while a voice shouts frantically in the background.

Police said they received reports about the incident shortly before 3pm on Monday. According to officers “the driver then left the vehicle and made off on foot in the direction of Edge Lane”.

White added: “There were loads of workers outside all gobsmacked, jaws to the floor wondering what’s going on. The site manager was running around like a headless chicken; he wasn’t happy at all.”

A statement released by Merseyside police on Monday evening read: “One man experienced eye irritation due to exposure to diesel and was treated at the scene by North West ambulance service. It is not believed anyone else was injured during the incident. Merseyside fire and rescue services and contractors attended to ensure the site was safe.”

Travelodge said it could not comment because a police investigation was taking place. It said the site had not yet been handed over and remained the responsibility of the developer when the incident took place.


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