M1 Closure Junctions J16 - J18 Northbound. Northamptonshire. Tuesday 16 December 2014
The M1 in Northamptonshire was closed on Tuesday 16 December between J16 and J18 due to an incident involving a car and a Heavy Goods Vehicle.
At approximately 04:15 Northamptonshire Police notified the Highways Agency that they had reports of a collision involving a car and HGV between junctions J16-J17. Upon the arrival of the emergency services it became clear this was a very serious incident. Northamptonshire Police requested that the road be closed immediately so our East Midlands Regional Control Centre dispatched our Traffic Officers to assist. At around 04:39 our Traffic Officers implemented a rolling road block from J15A to bring traffic safely to halt prior to J16 and allow the closure of the road to be implemented. By 04:47 the road was fully closed. Our East Midlands Regional Control Centre set signs and signals to warn motorists of the incident locally and our National Traffic Operations Centre set message signs further afield to warn motorists heading from the south of country of the closure. Our National Incident Liaison Officers fully appraised the travel media and began pushing the message out via social media.
All traffic was advised to follow a diversion marked with the hollow triangle symbol on local road signs. Traffic was advised to travel via the A45 westbound to Weedon Bec and the A5 northbound to rejoin the M1 at J18.
There were a number of vehicles trapped between the closure and the scene of the incident. Due to the serious nature of the incident Northamptonshire Police could not allow traffic past the scene and due to the location of the incident within roadworks, traffic could not be turned around. At around 06:18 our Traffic Officers and contractors began preparations to utilise the safety lane within the roadworks to release trapped traffic. By 06:40 traffic was beginning to be allowed past the scene and by 07:52 all trapped traffic, apart from an abnormal load that could not fit through the safety lane, was clear.
It was clear the police investigation was going to take some time and the road would be closed throughout the morning peak travel period. Our National Incident Liaison Officers continued to update the media on the progress of the incident and the delays that it was causing. We continued to use Twitter to advise of the diversion route and delay details to our regional Twitter feeds. More strategic message signs were utilised advising traffic from the south of the country bound for the midlands to use the M40, and traffic bound for the north to use the A1M and A14. Although every effort was made to keep traffic moving, delays peaked at over 60 minutes approaching the closure with around 8 miles of slow moving traffic back towards J14
Northamptonshire police continued their investigation with the recovery phase of the incident commencing at around 09:04. It took until around 10:04 for the recovery of both vehicles and police investigation to be completed. At 10:16 the abnormal load that had been within the closure was escorted past the scene and we made preparations to re-open the road. At 10:32 our Traffic Officers stopped traffic at J16 and began to remove the closure. At 11:02, 2 of our Traffic Officer crews commenced a rolling road block from J16 to safely bring traffic through the area at a controlled speed and at 11:05 all lanes were fully open. We set message signs across the region and south of the country advising the M1 was now open. We also pushed the same message out via the travel media and using social media. At around 12:05 traffic conditions in the area began to return to normal so all strategic diversion signs were removed and our twitter followers and the travel media advised delays had cleared.
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