POLICE have revealed details of an operation to catch a 95-year-old man who headed five miles the wrong way up the fast lane of the A12.

More than 20 emergency calls were received from members of the public who saw the man after he joined the road heading north on the southbound carriageway at the Brook Street interchange outside Brentwood.

While a steady stream of approaching vehicles flashed their lights the elderly driver continued at about 40mph in the fast lane.

Police were directed to the area as the emergency unfolded at around 11pm on Thursday, March 25, and vehicles from the A12 Alliance road patrol unit, road policing patrol cars and local units closed various slip roads to prevent traffic heading south.

The Essex Police helicopter was also scrambled to help out.

The driver was stopped by police when he turned off the A12 at Mountnessing.

He was taken to his home near Colchester area in a police car, and officers from the A12 Alliance team visited the man the following day when he surrendered his driving licence.

PC Alan Barlow of the A12 Alliance patrol team said: "Numerous police resources were used to stop this man and to safeguard other members of the public.

"Luckily on this occasion no-one was injured. But the last time this happened on the A12 there was a fatality."