THE former leader of Dudley Council has issued a plea for urgent repairs after a driver fleeing police crashed into the historic gates at Quarry Bank park leaving them mangled and uprooted.

The gates at the entrance to Stevens Park, off Park Road, were left severely damaged after the incident which happened at around 10.15pm on Monday night.

Chairman of the Friends of Quarry Bank Park David Sparks, a former Quarry Bank councillor and ex-leader of the authority who lives a stone’s throw from the park, said it was fortunate that nobody was killed or seriously hurt as Park Walk which leads to the park entrance is popular with dog walkers even late at night.

He said: “It’s a miracle that nobody was standing or walking past when the car hit them. They would have been killed.

“To shift cast iron gates that are embedded in concrete foundations means the car must’ve been travelling at an incredible speed.

“It’s also miraculous that this driver did not kill somebody on the way to the park as Park Road is busy and has parked cars on either side.”

The cast iron gates are believed to be the originals and date back to the 1920s when the park was first created.

Mr Sparks said they “need to be repaired as soon as possible” and he added: “They are a major feature of the community.”

The Friends group had only recently celebrated confirmation of a £1.8million lottery grant for restorations in the park.

Councillor John Martin, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for environmental services and highways, said in light of the damaged condition of the gates they would need to be removed in order to repair them and the gate post put back in the ground and he added: “In the interim we’ll ensure the entrance is made secure."