M40 Closure J9-J10 Northbound, Oxfordshire. Saturday February 14 2015

The M40 in Oxford­shire was closed north­bound between junc­tions J9-J10 due to a seri­ous col­li­sion involv­ing over 40 vehi­cles. Due to the sig­nif­i­cant amount of vehi­cles involved the road remained closed for sev­eral hours.

At 07:51 Thames Val­ley Police sent our East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre a log stat­ing that they were receiv­ing mul­ti­ple reports of a seri­ous col­li­sion involv­ing a sig­nif­i­cant amount of vehi­cles. This was reported as some­where on the M40 near Oxford­shire. Fur­ther calls from Oxford­shire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice and Oxford­shire Ambu­lance Ser­vice reported the same. Our East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre oper­a­tors began search­ing for the inci­dent on CCTV but due to the foggy weather con­di­tions in the area could not see any­thing. The Motor­way Inci­dent and Auto­matic Sig­nalling Sys­tem (MIDAS), that detects and auto­mat­i­cally sets sig­nals for queu­ing traf­fic, alerted our oper­a­tors to the approx­i­mate loca­tion of the inci­dent. They relayed this infor­ma­tion to our Traf­fic Offi­cer patrols who were already on their way to search the area. At around 08:03 one of our Traf­fic Offi­cer patrols arrived on scene on the north­bound car­riage­way and reported that multi vehi­cle col­li­sions were block­ing both car­riage­ways between junc­tions J9-J10. They also said that the police, who had also just arrived on scene, had requested that the north­bound car­riage­way be closed. Our national teams began brief­ing the local and national media and set mes­sage signs across the region and fur­ther afield to warn as many of you as pos­si­ble of the road clo­sure. We ensured that all our infor­ma­tion ser­vices were pub­lish­ing this infor­ma­tion includ­ing the full tac­ti­cal diver­sion route details. Our East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre instructed our Traf­fic Offi­cers to switch their radios to a spe­cial shared inci­dent chan­nel which allowed a coor­di­nated response between all the emer­gency ser­vices on scene.

M40 J9-J10 multi vehicle RTC 1

At around 08:26 our Traf­fic Offi­cers has stopped the north­bound car­riage­way just prior to J9 and by 08:38 they had estab­lished a full car­riage­way clo­sure. Our offi­cers at scene were able to get 1 lane open past the scene on the south­bound car­riage­way and requested inci­dent screens be deployed so that the view of the north­bound scene could be obscured. Inci­dents screens would allow more lanes to open on the south­bound car­riage­way when they were installed. It was clear from the scale of the inci­dent that the north­bound clo­sure would be in place for sev­eral hours. The fire and ambu­lance ser­vices on scene dealt with the mul­ti­ple casu­al­ties with the police coor­di­nat­ing the man­age­ment of the scene. Our pri­or­ity was to release all trapped traf­fic on the north­bound car­riage­way and keep traf­fic mov­ing on the south­bound car­riage­way. At 09:22 our Traf­fic Offi­cers began to turn trapped traf­fic on the north­bound car­riage­way. We liaised with Oxford­shire County Coun­cil to get the pri­or­ity of the traf­fic lights around J9 and on the A34 altered so that the increased traf­fic vol­umes on their roads could be man­aged more effec­tively. By 10:42 our offi­cers on the south­bound car­riage­way had 2 lanes open past the scene and the ear­lier requested inci­dent screens were deployed and installed by 10:48.

M40 J9-J10 multi vehicle RTC 2

Our Traf­fic Offi­cers con­tin­ued to work hard through­out the morn­ing and after­noon to clear the hun­dreds of vehi­cles that were trapped prior to the inci­dent scene and by 13:19 all trapped traf­fic had been released. Police inves­ti­ga­tion work and clean-up work con­tin­ued with the recov­ery of over 40 vehi­cles well under way. Our con­trac­tors and recov­ery agents deployed all avail­able resources to the scene to help speed up the re-opening of the car­riage­way. At 15:22 enough vehi­cles on the north­bound car­riage­way had been recov­ered to allow the inci­dent screens and lane clo­sure to be removed. Fur­ther sweep­ing and clean­ing of lane 3 on the south­bound car­riage­way was car­ried out and by 16:22 all lanes were open south­bound.  By 16:30 recov­ery and clean-up of the north­bound car­riage­way was com­plete and all lanes were open from around 16:35. Delays in the area began to clear with traf­fic con­di­tions return­ing to nor­mal by around 17:15.

M40 J9-J10 multi vehicle RTC 3

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