M62 Closure Eastbound, West Yorkshire. Wednesday 16 December 2015

The M62 in West York­shire was closed east­bound between J29 and J30 due to a fire involv­ing a heavy goods vehi­cle. This inci­dent also resulted in a large vol­ume of diesel spilling on to the car­riage­way, which dam­aged the road sur­face and required resur­fac­ing repair work. 

On the morn­ing of Wednes­day the 16 Decem­ber 2015, at approx­i­mately 06:40 hours, our North East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre was made aware by our con­trac­tors, of a Heavy Goods Vehi­cle which was on fire and stranded in a live lane of traf­fic. The vehi­cle was on the M62 east­bound between J29 (the inter­sec­tion with the M1) and J30 in West York­shire and was car­ry­ing a full load of underlay.


Traf­fic was halted prior to the inci­dent on the M62 east­bound and our Traf­fic Offi­cers assisted West York­shire Police in clos­ing the exit slip roads from the M1 north and south­bound onto the M62 east­bound, to pre­vent fur­ther traf­fic from join­ing the M62 and becom­ing trapped in the inci­dent traffic.

With traf­fic now held on the M62 east­bound prior to the inci­dent, this allowed West York­shire Fire Ser­vice to assess the sit­u­a­tion and tackle the blaze.

For the safety of road users the east­bound car­riage­way was closed at 07:20 hours and a diver­sion route was imple­mented. The diver­sion route allowed motorists trav­el­ling on the M62 east­bound to exit at J29 and join the M1 north­bound allow­ing progress north­bound so cus­tomers could exit the M1 at J44 which would allow them to join the A639. Con­tin­u­ing on the A639 the diver­sion route took motorists onto the A642 which led to J30 of the M62 where they could re-join the M62 east­bound. This diver­sion route was marked with a solid square sym­bol on hard signage.


Our North East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre and National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre issued warn­ings on the elec­tronic vari­able mes­sage signs to make motorists aware of the inci­dent. Signs were also set across the region and fur­ther afield. Our National Inci­dent Liai­son Offi­cers briefed the national and local media and also deliv­ered infor­ma­tion via regional twit­ter feeds and our High­ways Eng­land web­site break­ing news section

Later in the morn­ing, the M62 west­bound between J30 – J29 was tem­porar­ily closed to allow our Traf­fic Offi­cers and West York­shire Police to safely remove traf­fic trapped on that car­riage­way due to con­ges­tion at the Loft­house Inter­change. This assisted tak­ing traf­fic away from the inci­dent which was intend­ing to merge onto the M1 southbound.

Whilst West York­shire Fire Ser­vice con­tin­ued to dampen down the fire a heavy wrecker was requested to assist in debris clear­ance and a spe­cial­ist clean-up crew was deployed to deal with a diesel spillage as the heavy goods vehi­cle had spilt half of its fuel tank across the car­riage­way which also ran into nearby gullies.

2 large recov­ery trail­ers were required to remove the heavy goods vehicle’s trac­tor unit and trailer and the use of a fork lift truck was required. The recov­ery was not straight for­ward as the remain­ing diesel left in the lor­ries tank had to be drained before the vehi­cle was moved, as there was a fur­ther risk that the remain­ing diesel could also spill onto the carriageway.


Recov­ery oper­a­tions were fully com­pleted by 11:47 hours which allowed clean-up work and assess­ment of any dam­age to the car­riage­way to com­mence. This was a big task due to amount of debris on scene and 3 tip­per trucks as well as the use of skips were required to clear vast amounts of debris away from the carriageway.

Once the diesel spillage had been cleared and the gulley’s had been drained by spe­cial­ist clean­ers, at 13:46 hours our con­trac­tors could finally assess dam­age caused to the road by the fire and diesel spill.  It was deemed that a sig­nif­i­cant amount of dam­age had been caused and all 4 lanes need plain­ing and full resur­fac­ing. As con­trac­tors had resources in place, plain­ing work com­menced straight away and once com­pleted resur­fac­ing work started at 18:23 hours. White lin­ing and stud replace­ment work was required once resur­fac­ing of all 4 lanes had been com­pleted. After a sig­nif­i­cant amount of work to restore the car­riage­way, it was con­firmed by our North East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre that all works had been com­pleted and the road clo­sure was removed at 23:22 hours.

Through­out this inci­dent, High­ways Eng­land updated cus­tomers via our web­sitewww.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/ and via our regional twit­ter feeds @HighwaysNEAST and @HighwaysYORKS.

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