Motorway patrols expect to deal with a variety of incidents and problems during their shift – and they are not always confined to just humans.
Tonight’s ITV1 episode of Britain’s Busiest Motorway at 7.30pm shows the numbers of unexpected incidents Highways England’s traffic officers have had to deal with, including a heavy storm and animals that get onto the motorway.
One recent example saw two officers, Stuart Edgell and Sam Partridge, have to paws for thought after they went to assist what they thought was a broken down vehicle, only to instead find a pooch in peril.
Pulling up at junction 10 of the M1, at Luton, in the early hours of the Friday morning before Christmas, the duo discovered that the driver had heard the cries of a distressed puppy.
The young dog had fallen into a nearby drain having escaped from a farm and getting trapped in the sewage system.
Sam realised this canine conundrum would be something for one of the animal services to respond to with a dog warden, but struggled to reach the right person at such a busy time of year.
“The RSPCA do a great job, but we knew that we couldn’t just leave the animal there, so we worked with the driver, Sam, to help him get the dog out,” she said. “The poor thing had probably just wandered and fallen in the ditch.”
Deanna Wright, who was working night duty at the regional control centre in South Mimms, was about to go finish her shift when she heard of the doggy dilemma. She kindly volunteered to care for the puppy and follow up with the accredited dog services.
“Part of our duty is keeping an eye out for anything amiss, so we always keep our eyes and ears open, but this was a very unusual discovery,” she said.
Once taken to the local Biscot Mill Veterinary Centre, the puppy was checked over for injury before being given the all-clear to return to his grateful owner.
“Luckily the puppy was microchipped so we found out he was named Hugo, and the vets were also able to provide his address, so we were able to quickly reunite him with his owner.”