City Cruises

Published on Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Thousands raised for builder who wrecked new Travelodge

Police are appealing for witnesses after a disgruntled builder allegedly smashed his digger through the glass doors of a new Travelodge in Liverpool after getting into a row with the hotel contractors over pay.

The hotel on Edge Lane, 15 miles from Liverpool city centre, is understood to have been almost complete and was due to take its first guests on February 18 before the incident yesterday, which severely damaged the reception area.

Video footage taken on mobile phones and widely shared on social media show the digger mounting steps in front of the hotel before smashing through the glass doors and continuing to tear at the fabric of the building once inside. Construction workers on site can be heard yelling at the driver.

Contains bad language

It's alleged the driver took the drastic action because he was owed £600.

A GoFundMe page has since been set up to raise the amount for the unnamed builder, raising more than £2000 within a few hours. It has now raised nearly £6,000 and the figure is rising.

Jack Wellon, who set up the page, said: "This GoFundMe has been created to help fund the lost wages for the Travel Lodge - Edge Lane Digger Driver who is owed 600 in unpaid wages and primarily any legal fees and expenses which may arise as result of the demolition of the travel lodge.~
"Many people in the building trade encounter similar situations week in week out and this guy has helped many tradesmen and workers to get paid on time and to stand up for themselves when it's really needed.

"Any money raised here is to be given to the driver to help him primarily with any legal fees and to help the driver cover any expenses which may have arisen.

"The funds will be given directly to the mini digger driver via GoFundMe and their support team who have been involved and he will be the sole beneficiary.

"I used to work in the building trade here in The Cotswolds and know how the industry can work.

"I'm working with the media to make contact directly with the driver.

"It's amazing to see all the workmen, families and everyone helping chip together to support this guy after he really stood up for himself and his wages."

Samuel White, a ceiling contractor who witnessed the incident, said the destruction went on for 'a good 20 or 30 minutes' before the driver left the vehicle and ran off.

The digger was eventually driven out of the building, leaving a tangled mess of steel and broken glass in its wake.

Police said one man was treated at the scene by North West Ambulance Service for irritation to his eyes caused by exposure to diesel.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services and contractors from the construction company attended to ensure the site, which is in Liverpool's Innovation Park, was safe.

A statement from Merseyside Police said: "We are appealing for information after damage was caused to a hotel under construction in Liverpool. A report was received shortly before 3pm that the digger was being driven into the entrance of the Travelodge building in the Liverpool Innovation Park. Police confirmed this morning that there had been no arrests.

Travelodge said it would not comment upon a live police investigation. A spokeswoman added that the site is not, as yet, a Travelodge property.

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