M4 Closure J12-J11 Eastbound, Berkshire. Tuesday 28 April 2015

The M4 was closed east­bound and lane 3 (of 3 lanes) was closed west­bound due to a col­li­sion involv­ing an HGV (cement mixer) and a car. The HGV crossed over from the west­bound to the east­bound car­riage­way, over­turn­ing and spilling wet cement and diesel onto the road surface. 

At approx­i­mately 12:52 our East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre was noti­fied of an acci­dent that had occurred on the M4 east­bound between J12 and J11, just south of Read­ing that was block­ing the main car­riage­way. Our CCTV room quickly found the inci­dent on cam­era and deployed our Traf­fic Offi­cers to scene imme­di­ately. At the same time, units from Thames Val­ley Police and Berk­shire Fire and Res­cue ser­vice were mobilised. Once on scene, it was clear that this was a very seri­ous inci­dent and at approx­i­mately 13:01 Thames Val­ley Police took the deci­sion to close the motor­way east­bound and imple­ment a lane 3 (of 3) clo­sure on the west­bound car­riage­way. Our national teams started to push this infor­ma­tion out to the media and via our Twit­ter chan­nels as well as set­ting mes­sage signs fur­ther afield to warn you of the inci­dent. A diver­sion was imple­mented, with traf­fic being advised to leave the M4 at J12 and fol­low the hol­low cir­cle sym­bol via the A4, A4155 and the A33, re-joining the M4 at J11. Traf­fic approach­ing the M4 J13 east­bound was encour­aged to con­sider using the A34 south­bound, A303 east­bound & M3 east­bound.  These diver­sion routes were dis­sem­i­nated via Twit­ter, High­ways Eng­land Break­ing News, reports to the media and elec­tronic Vari­able Mes­sage Signs above the M4 and other major roads on the approach to this inci­dent to enable you to make informed deci­sions about your journeys.

M4 J11

By this point, long delays on approach to the inci­dent were being reported. There was also a sig­nif­i­cant amount of traf­fic trapped within the clo­sure. Our Traf­fic Offi­cers worked closely with both Police and Con­trac­tors to release traf­fic past the scene of the inci­dent via the hard shoul­der. All trapped traf­fic was released by 14:50.

Inci­dent screens were deployed to pro­tect the scene of the inci­dent, and to allow South Cen­tral Ambu­lance Ser­vice to treat the dri­ver of the over turned tanker who was trapped in the vehi­cle. This ensured traf­fic pass­ing the inci­dent on the oppo­site car­riage­way could not see the inci­dent. Once extracted, the casu­alty was taken to a local hos­pi­tal with a reported seri­ous injury.

M4 image 2

An Inci­dent Sup­port unit attended the scene to address the sig­nif­i­cant spillage of con­crete and diesel. A large quan­tity of absorbent pow­der was applied to soak-up the diesel spilled. Vehi­cle recov­ery was assessed and a ‘Heavy Wrecker’ was requested for the tanker. Despite the appli­ca­tion of the large quan­ti­ties of absorbent pow­der, the exten­sive diesel spilled on the hard shoul­der and in lanes 1, 2 and 3 meant that all lanes on the east­bound car­riage­way needed to be resur­faced. The cement spilled also com­pro­mised the sur­face of the east­bound car­riage­way.  A bar­rier repair crew were despatched for the badly dam­aged cen­tral reser­va­tion barrier.

By approx­i­mately 16:50 it became clear that the exten­sive resur­fac­ing work would be pro­tracted and would con­tinue through the night and into the early hours of the fol­low­ing morn­ing. This was because resur­fac­ing work could not start prop­erly until the tanker had been recov­ered. Recov­ery was com­plete by 21:00 and this enabled con­trac­tors to begin work on the car­riage­way sur­face. Our National Inci­dent Liai­son Offi­cers con­tin­ued to keep you updated with progress via twit­ter, out Traf­fic Eng­land web­site and local media and radio.

M4 3

At 04:35 we were able to re-open the car­riage­way, leav­ing lanes 2 and 3 closed to allow the final stages of the re-surfacing to take place, and lane 2 re-opened at approx­i­mately 05:45. To allow the con­crete bar­rier to cure safely, the deci­sion was made to leave a lane 3 clo­sure in place until later in the day.

At 17:15 our East Regional Con­trol cen­tre con­firmed that all emer­gency repair work was com­plete and the car­riage­way was fully re-opened and there were no reported delays.

Did you find this bul­letin use­ful?  We really wel­come your feed­back.  Please click here to help us. Thank you.