A GARDENER who chased after a runaway car and steered it to safety through its open window before it reached on a busy road has been hailed as a hero.

David Robson was pruning a high hedge in Leylands Avenue, Heaton, Bradford, when the householder spotted that a nearby car had suddenly started rolling downhill towards a busy rush hour rat-run.

Mr Robson, 48, of Shipley, chased after the car shouting at passers-by to get out of the way and reached in through an open window and wrestled with the steering wheel to drive it safely into a kerbside lamp post.

Householder Kami Kaur praised Mr Robson for his bravery during the 5.15pm drama.

"Dave saved the day - the car could have rolled down to the junction with Highgate, which is used as a cut through by a lot of traffic at that time of day," Mrs Kaur said.

"I had come out to pay him and all of a sudden a car beside me started to roll.

"I shouted: "no-one's in that car" and bless him, Dave chased after it down the road past two people on the pavement who he shouted at to get out of the way.

"Luckily he was able to reach in and steer it into a lamp post and the front only got a little bit of damage to the bonnet.

"It was a red car and belonged to a woman visiting some people in the street.

"They came out and were not very grateful and she just got in it and drove away," Mrs Kaur said.

Mr Robson told how he was on steps using a power hedge trimmer and had just climbed down to talk to Mrs Kaur when she spotted the moving car.

"It was also lucky I'd turned the hedge cutter off as it came rolling down hill.

"I caught up with and called to a couple in their 50s to get out of the way and although the door was locked I reached through the window.

"The steering lock was on, but there was just enough play for me to push it to the left and run it into a lamp post which stopped it dead," Mr Robson said.

"A few minutes later the woman who'd been walking along with her brother came up and thanked me for saving their lives.

"It all happened so fast I didn't really have time to think, but who knows what could have happened if the car had rolled into traffic on the bottom road or veered off onto the pavement.

"I keep thinking about all the different permutations - it was just very, very lucky," Mr Robson said.