TWO businesses were damaged when a car ploughed into a barber shop in Eastwood.

The blue Subaru Impreza driver and his passenger did a runner after careering into Brads Barbers, in Rayleigh Road, at about 5am yesterday.

The impact also damaged the neighbouring Discount Motor Spares shop, but remarkably both businesses remained open.

Brad Benfield, owner of the barber shop, which has been there for 15 years, thanked friends and clients for their help in the aftermath.

He said: “I’ve had so many phonecalls and texts from friends and clients offering to help, for which we’re really thankful.

“We had five or so people here at 7am, helping to board up the window and get the power back on.

“There were even people who should have been at work, but came here to help. We’re still clearing up, but we wanted to stay open.”

Andy Fletcher, co-owner of the car parts shop, discovered the damage as he arrived for work and is concerned about a large crack in a side wall.

He said: “I didn’t know about it until I turned up for work at 8am and couldn’t open the door.

“Opening it set the alarm off and we’re waiting for builders to see how bad the damage is to the wall.

“Brads looks like it’s taken the brunt of the damage, but ours might be worse structurally.”

Jeanette Walker, 45, and Roy Browning, 55, live on the opposite side of Eastwood Road.

Miss Walker said: “I heard the bang and thought it was a building site opposite, but obviously not.

“Roy was in the bathroom and looked out the window, but could not see anyone.

“There was no ambulance and I’m surprised the driver managed to walk away – I didn’t expect there to be much left of the shops after hearing the bang.”

A fire crew from Leigh were called to the scene and made the building as safe as possible.

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward as they hunt for the driver of the car.

Call police on 101.