A PENSIONER has been banned from driving for two years and fined after driving his car the wrong way down the A419 into oncoming traffic.

Douglas Buckland, 82, of Cottrell Avenue in Bristol appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

He received a £416 fine and cannot legally drive again for 24 months and until an extended test of competence has been passed.

Just before 6am on Halloween,, officers responded to reports of a vehicle travelling the wrong way down the A419 on the northbound carriageway, travelling south.

Officers spotted the grey Honda CR-V as they approached the Hyde Road slip road and, from the correct carriageway, were able to eventually flag down the vehicle, which stopped in the second live lane next to a gap in the central reservation.

They took the driver to Gablecross Police Station and moved the vehicle to a safe place.

Insp Steve Love said: “The Honda was driving directly towards oncoming traffic and vehicles were flashing their lights to try and get the driver’s attention.

“It is fortunate that the vehicles were able to avoid Buckland’s car and avoid a head-on collision. Officers had to respond quickly for the safety of the driver and those using the A419 at the time.

“We are thankful nobody was hurt or worse as a result of this incident.”