Glasgow & West Scotland

Delays on M74 after dog 'drives' on to carriageway

Media captionDrivers on one of Scotland's busiest roads stopped in their tracks when a tractor with only a sheep dog in the front seat appeared

Delays were caused on a busy stretch of the M74 motorway after reports of a dog "taking control of a tractor".

The incident - highlighted on Twitter by Traffic Scotland - took place at J13 at Abington, South Lanarkshire.

It later emerged that a sheepdog called Don, owned by farmer Tom Hamilton, had leaned on the controls of his utility vehicle, taking it on to the road.

Police and Mr Hamilton later recovered Don, who was unhurt, and the vehicle, from the central reservation.

Mr Hamilton told BBC Scotland that he was out on his off road pick up checking lambs in a field above the M74 near Abington.

Farmer relieved

As always he was accompanied by his Collie sheepdog Don, who was sitting beside him in the passenger seat.

Image caption Don escaped with little more than a fright

While Mr Hamilton was examining a lamb he turned round to see the Gator utility vehicle crashing through the fence and heading down an embankment on to the northbound lane of the M74 with Don still sitting in it.

The vehicle stopped after hitting the central barrier, smashing the windscreen.

Mr Hamilton said he feared that he had not pulled the handbrake properly and was extremely relieved that no drivers were hurt.

The farmer was also relieved that Don escaped with little more than a fright.

The episode caused a stir on social media when it was reported by Traffic Scotland at about 08:45 on Wednesday.

Dog puns

The transport body tweeted: "M74 (N) J13-RTC due to dog taking control of tractor... nope, not joking. Farmer and police at scene, vehicle in central res."

Shortly afterwards Traffic Scotland provided the update: "M74 (N) at J13 - Route is clear from earlier incident and dog is fine. Has to be the weirdest thing we have ever reported! No delays in area."

Police said the vehicle had gone through a fence near the motorway at about 08:15.

The incident led to plenty of dog puns as people responded to Traffic Scotland's tweets.

Tony T wrote: "Police investigating, so far no leads," while Beverley Friend added: "This is barking."

Michelle Muirhead asked: "Will the dog have points on his licence? Was he breathalysed? Did police arrest him?"

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