M1 Closure J12-J13 Northbound, Bedfordshire. Saturday 14 February 2015
The M1 in Bedfordshire was closed northbound between junctions J12-J13 on Saturday 14 February due to a serious collision involving a coach and a car. Due to the serious nature of the incident, the road was closed for several hours for police investigation.
At 06:48 Bedfordshire police control sent our East Regional Control Centre a log reporting a collision somewhere on the M1 between junctions J12-J13. Initial reports were that 5 cars and 1 HGV were involved. One of our Traffic Officer patrols was already in the area and at 06:50 implemented a rolling road block from J12 and brought traffic safely to a stop prior to the incident location. They reported that the incident actually involved a coach and car and it was clear from their initial assessment of the scene that this was a very serious incident and the road would have to be closed. Our East Regional Control Centre updated all the emergency services on the location and severity of the incident and set signs and signals across the region to warn you of the impending road closure. Additional Traffic Officer patrols were dispatched to close the road at J12 whilst or officers at scene continued to provide updates to the other emergency services who were still on their way. At 06:58 Bedfordshire Ambulance Service arrived on scene closely followed by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service at 07:06. At 07:15 Bedfordshire police arrived on scene and took overall charge of the incident which then allowed our officers to concentrate on freeing trapped traffic.
At 07:18 our Traffic Officers had implemented a rolling road block and safely bought traffic to a halt just prior to J12. They set out their emergency traffic management and closed the road. By this time our national teams had fully appraised the local and national media of the incident ensuring that accurate information regarding the closure and likely duration were being broadcast to you. Our National Incident Liaison Officers provided the full tactical diversion route through Bedford to the media and published the information via our website and regional Twitter feeds. Our National Traffic Information Centre set warning signs across the region and further afield so that as many of you as possible were aware of the incident and could choose to avoid it. They set message signs advising you to use the A1M, A1 and A14 or the M11 and A14 as alternative routes. They also set signs to advise the M40 as an alternative route however another serious incident on that road meant that these signs had to be removed as we never divert traffic in to other incidents of significant delays. At 07:35 our Traffic Officers began to turn trapped traffic and by 09:08 all cars and small vehicles had been cleared. Work continued to turn HGVs and all trapped traffic was cleared by 09:43.
Police investigation continued throughout the morning and by 12:27 recovery for the vehicles was on scene. Our contractors were allowed to deal with debris and spillages from the incident and we began to make plans to re-open the road. Near the start of the incident we had directed an abnormal load to park up within the closure at J12 as it was too long (44 metres) to travel on the diversion route. Before we could re-open the road we would have to escort this past the scene so that it would have a head start over the other traffic. This would reduce the risk of vehicles being stuck behind the load and its escort so close to the incident and prevent any unnecessary delays. At 13:49 recovery and clean-up work was complete and our Traffic Officers implemented a rolling road block from J11 to remove the traffic management at J12. At 13:54 all traffic management was removed and all lanes were now open past the scene. Our national teams fully briefed the media and set message signs across the region advising that the road had re-opened. Our contractors continued the clean-up operation on the hard shoulder and by around 14:30 this was complete. Delays in the area began to clear and conditions returned to normal by around 15:00.
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