Haunting figure of mum and pram that stops traffic at food truck near motorway

The figure of a mum hunched over her pram regularly draws the interest of drivers near a busy motorway and has earned the name ‘Betty Bypass’. The eerie character has become a local legend in her haunt on the Birmingham/Worcestershire border. Motorists often keep an eye out for her and lorry drivers have been known to stop for a photo along their travels on the M5.

Council officials have even headed out to find her with concerns for her safety, Birmingham Live reports. But ‘Betty Bypass’ never travels far and stays at her favourite spot in the shadow of Nick’s Sandwich Bar, a food van on the A38 between Rubery and Bromsgrove, near Junction 4 of the M5. It’s been around 10 years since she first appeared at the roadside with her ghost-like features and nose peeling from her age.

The eerie finger hunched over with her pram by her side

Food van owner Nick Husband, 58, from Rubery, has grown attached to the strange figure over the years.

He said: “‘Betty Bypass’ gets a lot of attention around these parts and is seen in all sorts of places from the road with her pram. “She’s been around for about 10 years and hopefully with me for a long time to come as Betty is like family.”

Haunting figure of mum and pram that stops traffic at food truck near motorwayNick Husband, owner of Nick’s Sandwich Bar in Rubery, and his colleague Sue O’Leary

But the beginnings of this eerie tale start with practical joker Nick, who bought ‘Betty’ the mannequin from the PDSA charity shop in Rubery High Street so he could pose her in different positions with a pram next to the food van. “I get someone asking me every day about Betty,” chuckled Nick. “Some think she’s real, many take their photos with her and others worry about her being homeless and want to help her.

“A few years ago, a council officer came down saying it was on the agenda to discuss her at the next meeting as councillors had raised concerns about ‘the lady’.

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“I said, ‘go and take this drink over to her’ and he couldn’t believe it when he realised she was a mannequin. ‘Oh no!’ he said ‘the report is all done for a council discussion now!’ “I took the pram away for a while and people kept asking me ‘Where’s the baby gone?’, we just told them it’s grown up and gone to school.” Nick, who sponsors Cofton Athletic Football Club and donates food to the homeless in Birmingham city centre regularly, also poses ‘Betty’ up for special occasions, such as with Champagne for the New Year.

Haunting figure of mum and pram that stops traffic at food truck near motorwayNick set up the eerie figure around 10 years ago as a practical joke

“As soon as I saw Betty in the charity shop, I knew I wanted her,” added Nick. “She cost me GBP20 but it’s the best GBP20 I ever spent.”

Nick’s colleague and best friend Sue O’Leary, 52, who used to run tearoom Polly Put The Kettle On in Rubery, said Betty provides a lot of entertainment for the pair and their regulars, who include staff from across the emergency services. “Nick is a practical joker and has come up with all sorts of things around Betty,” added Sue.

Haunting figure of mum and pram that stops traffic at food truck near motorwayNow, Betty is dressed up for special occasions like New Years and Christmas

“He’s had taxi drivers buying burgers here and told them she’s been waiting hours for a cab, just to see what happens when they go over. “Betty has just become a familiar face to our regulars.

We get a lot of police officers, ambulance staff and carers visiting us here as they are on the road all day. “No celebrities yet although we have had royalty go past when Prince Charles and Camilla were in the area. They didn’t stop but I wonder if they spotted Betty too.”

A local tree surgeon for the area has also joined in the fun by adding toy monkeys high up in the trees near Betty for visitors to spot too.

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