A DRIVER was left badly bruised and her car was written off after a collision with a bus lane bollard.

Karen Taylor, 50, said she was bloodied and shaken when she crashed on St Paul’s Street in Blackburn.

A trip to the garage with her 57-plate Vauxhall Corsa yesterday revealed the engine had been twisted by the impact with the rising bollard.

Mrs Taylor said she accidentally drove in the bus lane while lost, and had taken her seatbelt off to adjust her navigation system.

She said: “All of a sudden, my car came to a sharp halt and there was blood all over my face. I thought a bomb had gone off.

“I had taken my belt off to try and re-route the sat nav and my face smashed into the windscreen, causing the glass to crack.

“I couldn’t move the car and got out and saw a metal object jammed underneath, which I now know to be a bus bollard which had shot up in front of me and gone right into my car engine.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council said the bollards were clearly signposted and had been in place for more than two years.

The Padiham mother-of-two was trying to find Blackburn Job Centre on Friday, in her role as a meter reader.

Mrs Taylor, who suffered a black eye and hand injuries, wants to raise awareness of the bollards as she had ‘no idea that they were there’. She said: “I turned down a road and saw a bus in the distance but didn’t think much of it.

“It’s barbaric that the council would use bollards when a simple fine would do and that way they would not risk someone being injured.

“I need my car for work and I won’t be able to work now for a few days.”

The words ‘no entry’ are painted on the road at the top of the bus lane and there are no entry signs as well. Signs warning drivers about bollards are further down the lane, closer to the bollards.

Tory highways spokesman Alan Cottam said: “They need to rethink the signs on St Paul’s Street and put a warning right in front of the bollards. People do get lost and need to be told to take care there.”

Council highways boss Maureen Bateson said: "The bus gate has been in place since November 2011 and is clearly signposted in several places. Cars are not allowed down this road. It is for buses, cyclists and authorised vehicles only.

“Buses are fitted with a tracker which activates the bus gate to open and allows them through.”