Elderly rider strays on to M42 near Birmingham with no help from satnav

"A mistake and luckily he was not hurt," say police

by John Stevenson   March 25, 2014  

M42 (CC licensed image by Highways Agency:Flickr)

A man in his seventies has been rescued by police after straying on to the M42 on his bike yesterday afternoon.

Drivers called 999 (hands-free, we hope) to alert emergency services to the unnamed pensioner who was riding south on the motorway yesterday afternoon at about 3.30pm, reports the Birmingham Mail’s Brett Gibbons.

The man had ridden on to the motorway at junction 5 and was heading for junction 6 and the National Exhibition Centre before he was stopped by police.

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: “We managed to get to him quickly. He had realised what he had done as soon as he had got onto the motorway. It was a mistake and luckily he was not hurt.”

Unlike previous incidents on the M25 and M3 in Surrey, and on the towering M60 Barton Bridge in Manchester, no fruit-branded satellite navigation app seems to have been involved this time.



The rider is reported to have been none the worse for the experience.

7 user comments

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Very lucky as at certain times of the day (rush hour and it starts at about 15:30 pm) cars are allowed to travel on the hard shoulder if they are exiting at the next junction. There are refuges and a variable speed limit to allow this in order to ease congestion.
Even with variable speed limits i hate to think what could have happened with lorries and a cyclist both using the hard shoulder! Worried

posted by SevenHills [172 posts]
25th March 2014 - 13:52


Lucky but fairly stupid....I drive along there regularly & it's pretty obvious you're on the Motorway. If by some strange circumstance you were to find yourself there (perhaps in thick fog) you get off your bike and wheel it back up the slip road or over the fence into the nearest field ..... you certainly woudn't keep going !


posted by Timsen [63 posts]
25th March 2014 - 14:27


It's getting to the situation where we need to have 'No Cycling' signs on motorway slip roads.

David Palmer
Milton Keynes

Specialized Secteur Elite 2013
Team Raleigh Road Bike
Carrera Vulcan V-Spec

djpalmer32's picture

posted by djpalmer32 [69 posts]
25th March 2014 - 14:50


Has there been a sudden drop in IQ, or are we just hearing about these incidents because they're little more topical at the moment?

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3691 posts]
25th March 2014 - 15:12


stupid old fart, I really don't know how you can mistake a motorway for a regular road ...

posted by Karbon Kev [683 posts]
25th March 2014 - 15:30


There are signs that say no cycling, at least on the original motorway slip roads in England. Not noticed the same signs on newer motorways though, certainly none where I use the A803 (which also happens to be slip road on to (and off of) M8) - all there is is an end of motorway sign (when it has not been demolished by a car) on the way to Charing Cross, next to the 30mph speed limit sign - which every driver clearly fails to see (when that is also still standing).

It is quite an enjoyable experience at around 5pm to cut through from Dobbies Loan to Newton Street, as I'm usually travelling much faster than the traffic on the M8, as I cycle past.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [550 posts]
25th March 2014 - 20:25


posted by hexhome [26 posts]
26th March 2014 - 10:45