Police fine Sheffield student caught driving to Heathrow to save friend a taxi fare during lockdown

Updated: Apr 20

Police officers have fined a student for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules after driving to Coventry from Sheffield to pick up a friend to drive to Heathrow.

West Midlands Police officers were on patrol in Coventry city centre at 10.15am yesterday when they pulled over a car spotted being driven erratically. Checks on the car, which was stopped in Corporation Street, showed it was registered to an address in Sheffield.

The driver admitted driving to the city in the morning down the M1 from Sheffield to collect his friend – and had been planning on taking the passenger to Heathrow Airport to save him the taxi money.

The 20-year-old was handed an on-the-spot fine, advised about his behaviour during the health crisis, and told to return to his Yorkshire home. 

Coventry Police Sergeant Darren Walden, said: “It’s quite astonishing someone would plan a 360-mile round trip the day after the government extended the national stay-at-home lockdown instructions.

“The driver came down to the city with his flatmate and was in the process of picking up a friend who had a flight booked from Heathrow.

“The excuse the driver gave was that he wanted to save his friend paying for a taxi – and felt he was OK making the journey as he was wearing a mask.

“Most people we encounter are adhering to the lockdown rules and only heading out for food or medicine essentials, exercise or work that can’t be done at home.

“Our officers are continuing to speak to people they encounter to ensure they understand what’s being asked of them and to instruct people to return home if they are found flouting the government’s order.

“But we will take enforcement action, and issue fines, if we believe it is necessary.” 

Image credit: West Midlands Police

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