A woman clutching a young child was nearly struck by passing vehicles as she walked along the M62 motorway near Bradford in abysmal weather conditions on Tuesday night.

Nearly a dozen people made emergency calls to police to report the shocking scenes, which unfolded between junction 26 at Chain Bar and junction 25 at Brighouse.

The female, who was with a four-year-old, was located by police at Hartshead Moor services.

The pair are said to be asylum seekers in need of help.

A Bradford-based roads policing officer known on Twitter as Traffic Dave tweeted: “Responded in terrible conditions to reports of a female carrying a child #M62 #Hartshead “11 calls made to @WYP_Contact saying the female was nearly stuck by vehicles.

“Female and 4 year old child found by colleagues at the Services “Asylum seekers in need of help #Sad #Team3”

People have been quick to express their shock on social media, with one Facebook poster saying: “Article mentions they're asylum seekers. So I’ll assume the women is unknowledgeable regarding the rules of the road in this country. Luckily they were found safe, but what a thing to go through. Hope the necessary helps gets given to them.”

Another said: “The weather was atrocious earlier, so fortunate they didn't get hit by a vehicle, needless to say what was she even walking on the motorway for?that too with a child.”

Others questioned who was responsible for leaving vulnerable people in such circumstances.

One observer said: “Again!! Not long since a family was picked up from harthead services seeking asylum. Who is leaving these vulnerable people like this. They have no clue where they are. Glad they are safe, could of been a lot worse.”