A27 Closure Both Directions, East Sussex. Thursday 05 March 2015
The A27 in East Sussex was closed in both directions between the A2270 and the A26 near Polegate, due to a multi-vehicle accident involving a car, a van and a heavy goods vehicle. The heavy goods vehicle over turned and subsequently spilt a large amount of diesel onto the carriageway.
At approximately 11:58 Sussex Police informed the Highways Agency that there were reports of an overturned heavy goods vehicle blocking the A27 near Polegate, following an accident. The police continued to receive numerous calls from members of the public and it quickly became apparent that this was going to be a serious incident with extensive clean up and recoveries required. We immediately informed our service providers who dispatched a crew to assist the emergency services.
Sussex Police arrived on scene and advised at 12:12 that the carriageway was fully closed in both directions. This prompt update allowed us to start disseminating information about the closure, including the recommended diversion route details to our road users, to help prevent further disrupted journeys.
At 14:35 a recovery agent specialist arrived on scene to assess the situation and requirements to recover all vehicles involved. The recovery of the heavy goods vehicle was complicated and required the added assistance of a crane to right the vehicle. All specialist equipment arrived on scene by 14:51 and the contractors worked for a significant number of hours to complete the protracted recovery process without incident. During this time, Highways Agency contractors implemented our pre-planned emergency diversion routes for closures in both directions.
This route required westbound traffic to follow the triangle diversion symbol, utilising the A22 north to Golden Cross, the B2124 west through Laughton, the B2192 south through Ringmer and the A26 south to re-join the A27 at Lewes. Eastbound traffic was advised to follow the diamond diversion symbol via the reverse route. Additionally, the Highways Agency National Traffic Operations Centre set Variable Message Signing on all appropriate strategic approaches to inform customers already on our network of the A27 closure, so they had the option to consider alternative routes.
The impact of the accident unfortunately resulted in the heavy goods vehicles losing a significant amount of diesel onto the carriageway and surrounding area. Police sought advice and assistance from the Environment Agency and the Highways Agency service providers deployed a Gully Sucker and Sweeper to the scene to complete an extensive clean-up process, ensuring there was no resulting damage to the affected area and the road surface was completely safe to re-open once the incident had been resolved.
Multiple emergency services, service providers and contractors worked together at scene throughout the afternoon and into the evening to ensure the carriageway was restored to normality and allow the safe re-opening of the carriageway. The overturned vehicle was righted at 20:12 and the extensive recovery was fully completed at 23:23.
Sussex police confirmed that all clean-up activity had been completed and the road was fully open to traffic at 23:49.
Throughout this incident, Highways Agency updated customers via our website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/ and via our regional twitter feed @HATraffic_seast
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