A frustrated motorist stuck in traffic after a crash on the M25 called 999 asking for a police escort to avoid missing his flight.
Drivers were caught up in 15-mile-long tailbacks after the “multi-vehicle” crash sparked chaos during the start of the Easter getaway.
Huge queues lasted all day on the southern clockwise section between junction 8 at Reigate and junction 9 in Leatherhead following last Thursday’s collision.
Amid the chaos, in a bold attempt at catching his flight on time, one driver called the emergency services and asked for an escort.
Man stuck in traffic after #M25 collision asks 4 police escort to make flight on time-please don't use 999 unless you have a real emergency!— Surrey Police (@SurreyPolice) April 18, 2017
He called 999 about one hour after the crash, in which a car was upended in the middle of the motorway, at about 10am.
Head of the Surrey Police Contact Centre Sarah Durston said the call was a perfect example of when the emergency number is not used correctly.
She added: “This caller who did not have an emergency may have prevented someone else who was in danger from getting through to us.
“This presents a real risk to our ability to respond to genuine emergency calls. The 999 number must only be used for situations where a crime is actually in progress or someone is in danger.
“Calling us on 101 does not change the police response you would get in a non-emergency situation and using the right number could literally save someone's life.”