HUDDERSFIELD ground to a halt yesterday after a bus crash snarled up the busy ring road.
The single-decker was in a smash with a black Audi at the junction of Southgate and Northumberland Street.
The driver of the Audi – a man in his 20s – was injured but managed to free himself. Paramedics who rushed to the scene fitted a neck brace to the motorist and carried him away on a spinal board.
The bus also smashed into railings at the bottom of Northumberland Street – blocking the door and trapping seven passengers and the driver inside.
Fiona Thomas, 32, from Halifax, said: “It was horrendous. I was coming out of Tesco in the middle of town and I got caught up in it.
“I was just queuing for ages and the traffic was at a standstill.
“I was actually quite lucky because I was in the bottom car park at Tesco so I could just drive out, but I felt sorry for the people in the top car park who had to queue all the way down. That bus slowed everything down in town – everything was blocked there and at the other end of the ring road. It took me about 40 minutes or more to get from Tesco to Bradley and it usually only takes me 10 to 15 minutes.”
Watch Commander Aldene Woodward, from Huddersfield Fire Station, said: “Obviously because it was on the ring road it caused a lot of chaos and brought Huddersfield to a halt. People were having to go on rat-runs to avoid the traffic issues.” Firefighters helped to free the passengers from the bus through the emergency exit.
Watch Commander Woodward said for an unknown reason the passengers were unable to open the rear door of the bus.
She said she believed if any of them had sustained injuries they would only be minor. It only took a few minutes to free them from the bus via the emergency exit and on to a special ramp.
The incident happened at around 3.15pm yesterday at the junction, which is controlled by traffic lights.
Three hours later the bus had still not been recovered.