A businessman had to buy a car to make the 1,300-mile journey home from his holiday in Spain following the travel chaos caused by volcanic ash.

Craig Atkinson, 35, was on holiday in Benidorm with his wife Donna and three-year-old son Max when the Icelandic volcano began to erupt last week.

Mr Atkinson, a partner at Atkinson’s Kitchens, of Thorncliffe Road, Bradford, said the news of the eruption had not worried the family at first as they were due to fly back on Sunday.

But by the time their flight was cancelled on Saturday he realised the family, who were on holiday with his business partner and his family at their villa, could be stuck in Spain.

He said: “At that point we decided to look into what other options were available because basically if it was going to be only a couple of days we would have stayed, but there were all these horror stories.”

After making inquiries, Mr Atkinson was told the earliest flight to Leeds-Bradford Intern-ational Airport would have been next Thursday, so he looked into hiring a car to leave in north France and was told it would cost more than 2,000 euros.

He said: “So I bought an English-Spanish newspaper and looked in the back of that and thought rather than spending silly money to hire something I might as well buy a car.”

He bought a 2001 British-registered Hyundai coupe for 1,500 Euros and set off on the journey to the French port of Caen on Tuesday afternoon, arriving at his home in East Morton, Bingley, on Wednesday evening, and was back at work fitting a bedroom in Wakefield yesterday.

He said: “It was an interesting road trip.

“Work was the main thing for us because there was two of us from the same company. Our other partner was running around like a headless chicken.”

* Leeds-Bradford International Airport yesterday said 90 per cent of scheduled flights were operating, including all scheduled Jet2.com services and all scheduled Ryanair services apart from routes to the Republic of Ireland.