Press release

Highways England helps to solve cuddly conundrum

Highways England traffic officers had a surprise when they rushed to respond to reports of pigs on the loose on A1(M) recently.

Cuddly cow toys on the roof of a traffic officer vehicle

A driver called Cambridgeshire Police to report 20 swines sauntering on the motorway between Huntingdon and Peterborough just before 7am on Friday 13 July. However the traffic officers were in for a shock when they arrived as found the drivers’ description had been a bit of the sty.

Officers Graeme Laws and Ian White could find no trace of the pigs at junction 15, and then when searching a junction further south found out that the reported trotters were in fact a team of teddies as the “pigs” turned out to be cuddly cows which had been blown around by the wind.

Highways England traffic officers are trained to quickly clear many types of motorway disruption, including animals loose on the network. Thankfully the fluffy Friesians were significantly easier to clear up than the real life pigs they were expecting to find.

Cuddly cow toys on the bonnet of a traffic officer vehicle
Some of the cuddly cow toys picked up by the Traffic Officers

Ian, who was one of the traffic officers to respond to the call, said:

We were looking for these pigs, worried about the disruption they could cause if there were live animals on the motorway, so were quite surprised to find the hoof of the matter was that they were actually teddy cows

The wind had been causing them to moove around in the road, making drivers think they were live animals wandering through the traffic. There were a lot of them, and as we were gathering them we kept spotting anudder one which we needed to grab.

Eventually we managed to manoeuvre them off the road so that drivers could continue their journeys uninterrupted.

The officers milked the situation by bringing the cuddly cattle culprits back to their depot at Whittlesford so others could see what had caused the nuisance.

They are now looking to reunite the cows with their owner, or they will look to donate them to a children’s charity.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 31 July 2018