M1 Closure J12 - J13 Both Directions, Bedfordshire. Tuesday 03 February 2015
The M1 in Bedfordshire was closed in both directions on Tuesday 03 February 2015 between junctions J12 (Flitwick) and J13 (Milton Keynes) due to an incident involving a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and a car. The HGV crossed through the central barrier from the southbound to the northbound carriageway. The vehicle then collided with the car which was travelling northbound before striking the support of an overhead gantry.
At around 12:35 Bedfordshire Police notified our East Regional Control Centre that they were getting reports of a serious incident on the M1 J12-J13. Our Traffic Officers were dispatched and began to search the area. Our East Regional Control Centre found the incident on CCTV and relayed this information to them. They also updated Bedfordshire police with the location and set signs and signals to warn you of the incident. Bedfordshire Police and Fire Service were first on scene followed soon after by an ambulance from East of England Ambulance Service. The northbound carriageway was blocked and The East Anglian Air Ambulance was requested. Our National teams briefed the media and set warning signs advising of strategic diversions to avoid the delays.
At around 13:13 our Traffic Officers blocked the southbound carriageway to allow the air ambulance to land. By 13:30 the air ambulance had landed and its rotors had stopped. This was the point we could allow southbound traffic to be released past the scene again. Due to the serious nature of the incident Bedfordshire police instructed us to fully close the southbound carriageway to aid their investigation. Once again our Traffic Officers were deployed and by 14:18 they had the southbound carriageway closed.
Diversion routes were put into place for traffic in both directions between junctions J12 and J13 and at about 14:00 we began to assist the Police with turning the traffic stuck in the closed section of the northbound carriageway around to safely return and exit at J12 (there was no traffic stuck on the southbound carriageway as it was released past the incident scene before the closure was put into place). To assist with doing this more quickly our contractors attended to open a section of the central barrier to enable traffic stuck in the closed section to turn onto the southbound carriageway and travel back to J12 to exit onto the diversion.
The emergency services finished their operations at the scene and recovery operations began at about 16:00. The HGV’s cab was significantly damaged and resting against the gantry complicating the operation by requiring the trailer to be seperated from the cab. A structural engineer was also required to attend to ensure that the gantry which the HGV collided with was safe to allow the road to re-open. At 16:45 the car involved in the accident had been recovered and police allowed the remaining traffic stuck in the closed section to travel past the scene to resume their journey.
Recovery of the HGV cab and trailer was completed and repairs to the central barrier were then completed under a single lane closure. This enabled the southbound carriageway to reopen with only lane 3 closed at approximately 19:20. The northbound carriageway was fully open at about 19:30. The lane 3 closure on the southbound carriageway was removed at 20:10.
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