A mother and her nine-week-old baby had a frightening ordeal when their Sat Nav sent them on to the Luton and Dunstable Guided Busway.
Clare Grist, 34, is from Suffolk and was visiting family in Luton on November 25 when she found herself on the £91m busway which the council say is “impossible” to accidentally drive on.
The social service worker’s car hit the car traps, busting two tyres and resulting in her car breaking down in the middle of a busy roundabout.
Clare said: “It was so dark but I thought the road looked a bit strange so I slowed down. Next thing my car went into a dip and the tyres bust. I managed to turn around and drive back. I don’t know Luton at all but I ended up on a big roundabout and then the car wouldn’t go any further.
“I was worried about cars coming into the back of me. It was horrible.”
A couple came to Clare’s rescue as she stood at the side of the road with her baby and took her to a nearby pharmacy where she phoned for help.
Clare said: “I was very emotional. I was thinking ‘Oh my God, I am stuck on a roundabout, I don’t know where I am and I have got a baby with me.”
The police helped Clare to move her car and it cost Clare £179 to replace the two tyres.
Cllr Dave Taylor, portfolio holder for transportation and road safety “I am amazed how anyone claims they can ‘accidentally’ drive on the busway if they are driving with due care and attention. There are clear markings on the road, clear no entry signs and clear indications about the concrete guides and car traps. “There is no excuse for any car or van to travel on the busway. It was specifically designed for buses only and anyone who drives their own vehicle on it is foolish, irresponsible and risks facing the consequences.”
Drivers caught on the busway can be fined £1000.
Clare said: “I was lucky but someone could really get injured and it is dangerous, especially if they have children with them. I read what Councillor Taylor said and I think it is very ignorant of him to be saying that. I am a professional, a mother, a sensible person. If you don’t know the area you can easily end up on there. He is really ignorant saying that and I think they have warned people about being fined to stop people from contacting them. If they don’t do something they are going to have a court case on their hands.”