By Suffolk Gazette Staff
An 84-year-old Suffolk motorist got lost on the M25 for more than two days before running out of petrol and being picked by police, it emerged today.
Dorothy Taylor, from Ipswich, was driving to Brentwood to pay a surprise visit to her sister – but took a wrong turn off the A12 and ended up on the busy London orbital motorway.
She drove around the 117-mile circuit at least twice before tiring and pulling into a service area to get some rest.
Next morning she set off again but had no better luck finding her way off the motorway before having to stop again that night at the same services.
And it was only when she ran out of petrol early on day three near Heathrow that a police patrol car picked her up.
“I never felt worried, I stopped for food and rest breaks, but I did not want to ask anyone for help because they all looked in such a rush. I did not want to be a nuisance.”
Mrs Taylor, who was widowed five years ago, has been driving since 1949 and recently upgraded her “battered old Ford Fiesta” for a swish Honda Civic.
“I thought I’d pay a surprise visit to my sister, Agnes in Brentwood and show her the car. I must have taken a wrong turn near there and got on the M25 instead. I’ve never driven on a motorway and was a little confused by all the fast traffic.
“It seemed to me the safest thing to do was just keep going until I recognised somewhere. Unfortunately, I did not recognise anywhere at all – all the roads looked the same and I could not really make out many of the signs. It’s my eyesight, I suppose.”
Mrs Taylor said police arranged for her to be towed back to a service station on the A12, from where she filled up with diesel and was escorted to her sister’s house, apparently none the worse for her ordeal. Officer told her she had probably done around 800 miles during her adventure and had been going clockwise throughout.
“The car ran really well, so at least that was pleasing,” Mrs Taylor said.
She has no plans to quit the road but insists she will now stick to local trip only. “I’ll get the train next time I want to see Agnes,” she said.