A LEARNER driver had to take his girlfriend to hospital – after she went into labour.

Simon Cannon even had to avoid the motorways as he drove the 15 miles from Blackburn to Burnley with his 'instructor' – pregnant partner Rebecca Bird – in the passenger seat.

The 34-year-old, from Blackburn, gave birth to her 7lb 11oz baby girl, Melody, at Burnley General Teaching Hospital at 6am after going into labour at around 1am.

Mr Cannon, 34, said: “I was insured on Rebecca’s car and I avoided the motorway, I had a lot of responsibility with my pregnant girlfriend in the car next to me.

“Thankfully everything was fine and we’ve got our first baby.”

Miss Bird said: “We’re both so happy. We’ve got a beautiful baby daughter.

“She was due on the 9th of January originally so she was a bit early.

“We had planned for a quiet New Year’s Eve but that soon changed.”

The couple was one of just a handful of new parents who brought in the new year with a baby. in East Lancashire.

Simina Bodea, from Accrington, gave birth to 8lb Fineas Daniel Bodea, her seventh child and sixth boy.

The 30-year-old said: “I came in at midnight and gave birth at 6.50am.

“The house is going to be a little bit busier now I have my sixth boy.

“My husband Fabain and I are incredibly happy, but very tired.”

Staff at the hospital said this year seemed quieter than the previous, when 26 babies were born on site.

Janine Isherwood, 31, gave birth to 6lb 10oz Alice at 4.45am, alongside her partner, Paul Matthews, 36.

Miss Isherwood, works at the hospital as a member of the maternity staff.

Miss Isherwood, who now has three children, said: “It’s a strange feeling being on the bed rather than looking after the person in it.

“I’ve got two little boys and they’re very excited to meet their new sister.”

At Royal Blackburn Hospital, Ayesha Mahmood, from Blackburn, gave birth to a baby boy, weighing 7lb 2oz. The baby is yet to be named.