Runaway horse causes M1 traffic chaos
A RUNAWAY horse caused traffic chaos along the M1 outside west Belfast yesterday morning as it trotted along the busy city-bound carriageway.
Just after 10.15am the horse was spotted by stunned motorists near Stockmans Lane and was filmed walking in the middle of the two-lane motorway.
Police confirmed the citybound side of the M1 was closed to traffic for about 11 minutes, while a speed restriction was put on the countrybound side as police attempted to bring the horse under control.
Motorists experienced lengthy tail-backs as the animal eventually left the motorway at the Broadway roundabout.
The horse then made its way onto the Donegall Road where police hemmed it in for the safety of other road users. The animal was seized and removed from the area.
According to police the owner of the animal has yet to be located.
The owner could face prosecution as under the Roads Northern Ireland Order 1993, it states that "if any animal is at any time found wandering or lying on or at the side of the road, the keeper thereof shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine".
The law also states that the keeper must show they "took reasonable precautions to prevent the animal from wandering onto the road".
In May three runaway cows caused early morning delays on the Belfast-bound M1 at Ballyskeagh.
The three runaway cows were spotted walking on the outside lane of the city-bound route and early morning traffic came to a halt as a police escort herded them into a field close by.