M25 Lane Closures J5-J6 Both Directions, Kent. Monday 19 January 2015
The M25 in Kent had 3 lanes closed clockwise and 2 lanes closed anti-clockwise due to an incident involving a HGV and van. The HGV struck and caused significant damage to the central barrier and also ruptured it’s fuel tank spilling a large amount of fuel on the carriageway.
At around 09:53 on the morning of Monday 19 January Kent police notified us that they were getting reports of an incident involving a HGV striking the central barrier somewhere between J5-J6 on the M25 in Kent. Immediately our South East Regional Control centre began checking the CCTV cameras in the area. They quickly found the incident on camera and confirmed the carriageway was blocked in both directions. They set signs and signals to warn you of the lanes affected and give those further away warning that there was an incident ahead. Our Traffic Officers were dispatched and we made sure that all the emergency services were informed of the precise location of the incident. We also notified Gatwick and Heathrow airports as, due to the serious nature of the incident, it was clear there was going to be disruption for customer’s destined for those airports. We notified our contractors of the incident and requested they send all the necessary equipment to deal with the lane closures, barrier damage, spillages and debris.
Operators at our National Traffic Information Centre in Birmingham set warning signs across the region and further afield to warn you of the incident and delays. They also set strategic warning signs advising of alternative routes so as many of you of possible could avoid being caught up in the delays. Our National Incident Liaison Officers fully briefed the national and local media and pushed the message out to our Twitter followers. Surrey and Kent County Councils as well as Transport for London were notified and told to expect additional traffic on their roads as a result of this incident. At 10:27 our Traffic Officers were on scene and thankfully were able to report there were no injuries. This positive news enabled us to keep lanes open at scene as the police investigation would not require the road to be fully closed. At around 11:10 as a traffic management measure, our Traffic Officers closed The M26 westbound at J2A to prevent traffic joining the already queuing traffic on the M25. Due to the significant spillages, debris and the complex nature of recovery, it was necessary to keep 3 lanes closed on the clockwise carriageway and 2 lanes closed on the anti-clockwise carriageway. We worked hard with our contractors and partner organisations throughout the morning to re-open lanes and at 11:25 we were able to re-open the M26 westbound at J2A. By 13:55 we now had 2 lanes open in both directions past the scene of the incident and recovery of the vehicles was complete. The traffic was moving well in the area and delays were reducing. Work continued throughout the afternoon to clear the debris and fuel spill and by 14:43 we had 3 lanes open on the anti-clockwise carriageway.
Due to the extent of the barrier damage and the damage the fuel spill had caused to the carriageway, we had to keep 2 lanes closed in both directions throughout the evening peak. Our contractors continued to work hard throughout the evening, utilising specialist cleaning equipment to treat the fuel spill. Their efforts meant that the road did not need resurfacing and by 20:34 after carrying out safety skid testing 3 lanes were reopened in both directions. Temporary concrete safety barriers were put in place to enable repair of the permanent concrete barrier. Due to the low temperatures in the area it has been necessary to leave the temporary barriers in place to allow the permanent barrier time to cure correctly.
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