Two motorists drove cars on to the guided busway yesterday – ignoring many warning signs.
Both incidents happened within three hours of each other at either end of the route.
In the first incident, a pensioner found herself driving along the busway in Cambridge.
She managed to ignore a height barrier, traffic signals, several no entry signs, bus-only notices and a ‘car trap’ – designed to allow access only to buses – before she headed on to the newly-opened £180 million guideway.
Services temporarily ground to a halt as the “flexible” vehicles transferred on to nearby roads and then continued to ferry their bemused customers to their destinations.
The pensioner said she had “made a mistake” coming out of a car park at the Trumpington Park and Ride site around noon.
A bus driver immediately spotted the distressed woman and Cambridgeshire Highways recovered her car within an hour.
A spokesman from Cambridgeshire County Council said they were “relieved” no one had been hurt but there were “plenty of warning signs she should have seen”.
He said: “It did not sneak up on her, let’s put it that way.
“She went straight past numerous signs telling her not to go that way. Apart from the height barrier, traffic signals, plenty of guided bus signs, which should have been multiple warnings, the car trap is designed to only let buses past because their wheels are wider, but she managed it.
“There were only minor delays because the beauty of this service is that it is very flexible and the buses can simply transfer to the road and carry on until they had removed her car.”
He added: “Bless her, she said she made a mistake.”
In the second incident at 2.45pm in Station Road, St Ives, a woman driving a car “followed” a guided bus from the road but ended up stuck in the car trap.
Again, there were plenty of signs warning about the tracks.
The council spokesman said: “They just followed the bus even though there was a big ‘no entry’ sign, a ‘car trap’ sign, a guided buses-only sign and the steel flares at the tracks.
“The car was stuck in the car trap and couldn’t move. It had to be recovered. It didn’t cause any delays as the buses could go around it.”
Richard Ling, a trainee accountant with Edwards Chartered Accountants in Station Road, said: “Cars end up in the trap on a weekly basis. Monday and Friday, market days, are the worst. Most days somebody drives up to the crossing but most vehicles turn around and go back again.”
This is not the first time misguided drivers have made their way on to the bus-only tracks.
Last month, joyriders stole a car before taking it for a spin, ignoring safety signs to get on the southern section of the concrete track near Cambridge railway station.