MOTORISTS have been warned to always obey warning lights after a Bradford taxi driver became trapped on a swing bridge over a waterway.

The "embarrassed" driver was left helpless as he had to sit in his vehicle while the bridge took him spinning out onto the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Local resident Russell Ingle joined bemused onlookers on the towpath and took a phone picture of the white Bradford Hackney Carriage stranded on the Morton Bridge at Crossflatts near Bingley.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing - he must have just got under one barrier heading towards Crossflatts and then was trapped because the one in front of him was already down," Mr Ingle said.

"To be honest, what bothers me is the safety aspect because those bridges are all carefully counterbalanced and having a one and a half tonne vehicle on it could really upset the balance.

"It's pivoted about two thirds of the way across and he was parked on the long part of the bridge, which could have been dangerous.

"I couldn't see if he had a passenger in, but the driver just had to sit there looking embarrassed for about ten minutes," said Mr Ingle.

A regular canalside walker, he explained how all narrow boats now have an electronic pass key which is used to activate such bridges and the marooned taxi driver had to wait while a boat passed below him.

"To be honest, I can't think how he managed to get on there as the barrier is similar to the ones on railways crossings with flashing warning lights and a bar which comes down," Mr Ingle said.

The swing bridge is owned by Bradford Council and ward councillor John Pennington said while the image might be amusing, there were real dangers involved:

"Perhaps he wanted to be Bingley's first water taxi - but seriously if it had been a railway level crossing, the driver would be dead.

"The signs, warning lights and barriers are there for very good reasons and should always be obeyed," Cllr Pennington said.

The incident happened at about 5pm on Tuesday.

Two years ago, the Telegraph & Argus reported on another high profile incident where a driver had got his vehicle trapped after trying to run a red light.

On that occasion, the location was a railway level crossing at Cross Hills, where a father-of-three got his vehicle stuck between the barriers, sparking scenes of "panic" as a train approached.

Elderly people and children were among up to six people who got out of the vehicle when it got stuck on the crossing, with the automated barriers down.