Pensioner drives wrong way up M56

Pensioner drives wrong way up M56

A 77-year-old man has been convicted of dangerous driving after causing a collision while driving on the wrong side of the M56 near Manchester airport.

Colin Walker crashed his Nissan Micra into a Volkswagen Polo while attempting to do a U-turn near junction five of the busy carriageway.
Thankfully, despite both cars suffering extensive damage, both drivers escaped with only minor injuries.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Walker is now undergoing tests for Alzheimer's disease, after suffering from periods of confusion and disorientation.

He had been trying to reach a relative's house in the Wythenshawe area when he got lost in a network of roads supplying the airport terminals.

When he attempted to rejoin his original route, he accidently started travelling the wrong way down the motorway, a mistake, Mr Walker told police, that was his first in 50 years behind the wheel.

Despite the short length of his dangerous journey, a number of other road users were put at risk, including a Land Rover driver who narrowly avoided smashing into the confused pensioner, before finally collided with the Volkswagen after attempting to turn his car around.

Mr Walker pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sentenced to a three-year conditional discharge and also banned from driving for three years.

He will also have to sit an extended driving test should he want to get back on the roads.

Passing sentence, Recorder Phillip Curran said: "As you said to police, it was one error in 50 years, but it was a very serious error indeed and it could have led to your death and the deaths of others. That's why it is such a serious event. It must have been a frightening experience for you and the other road-users swerving to avoid you.

"You really should have pulled into the hard shoulder and stopped instead of trying to do a U-turn.

"You really did aggravate the situation, but I suspect that may have happened because of the traumatic situation you were in."
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