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.

M1 closure J16-J18 diversion

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


M1 closure J16-J18 closure congestion

M1 closure J16-J18 closure congestion 2








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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