Link road closures from the M11 J6 to M25 J27, Essex, Thursday, 05 November 2015

The link roads from the M11 J6 north­bound to the M25 J27 clock­wise and M25 anti clock­wise to M11 north­bound were closed on the morn­ing of Thurs­day 07 Novem­ber due to a Heavy Goods Vehi­cle shed­ding its load cook­ing lard onto the car­riage­way. The road remained closed into the fol­low­ing day for pro­tracted clean-up operations.

At 11:30 on the morn­ing of Thurs­day  05 Novem­ber 2015  our East­ern Regional Con­trol Cen­tre was alerted by Essex Police to reports of a Heavy Goods Vehi­cle shed­ding its load onto the car­riage­way on a link road from the M11 north­bound onto the M25 clock­wise. It tran­spired that the vehi­cle was loaded with cook­ing lard.

Essex Police were mobilised along with High­ways Eng­land Traf­fic Offi­cers and they arrived at scene at 11:42 to dis­cover a con­sid­er­able amount of debris in the form of cook­ing lard spread across approx­i­mately 100 metres of the carriageway.


Upon fur­ther assess­ment of the inci­dent Essex Police advised that the road would be closed for a long period of time for recov­ery and clear up work. The link road from the M11 J6 north­bound to the M25 clock­wise J27 was sub­se­quently closed as the spillage posed a threat to dri­ver safety. Diver­sions were sub­se­quently insti­gated with motorists advised to travel to the M25 J26 anti clock­wise and turn. Plans were for­mu­lated to remove the con­t­a­m­i­nant (lard) and it was deter­mined that a spe­cial­ist clean­ing com­pany would be required. Our ser­vice provider (con­trac­tors) advised that approx­i­mately 24 tonnes of lard had been spilt, they had a grab lorry in posi­tion at 13:30 and that they were await­ing the atten­dance of the spe­cial­ist clean­ers (one of only 4 in the coun­try) to begin clean-up operations.

At 14:55 the spe­cial­ist clean up team arrived on scene and once all other ancil­lary vehi­cles arrived (recov­ery vehi­cles and water bowsers) steam clean­ing of the car­riage­way com­menced circa 15:30.



The inci­dent and sub­se­quent clo­sure was not in itself caus­ing sig­nif­i­cant delays on either the M11 or the M25 and delays of 10 min­utes at peak on the approach to the link roads were reported (mea­sured) by our National Traf­fic Oper­a­tion Cen­tre. Due to the large area of con­t­a­m­i­nated car­riage­way it became appar­ent that clean-up oper­a­tions would be pro­tracted and it would be some time before the use of the road would be re-instated. At 17:19 our con­trac­tors, in addi­tion to the cur­rent clo­sure, closed the link road from the M25 anti clock­wise to the M11 north­bound. This was nec­es­sary as the run off from the steam clean­ing was encroach­ing onto this carriageway.

Oper­a­tions at scene con­tin­ued through the night. The steam clean­ing of the car­riage­way was work­ing well, but we had to be wholly sat­is­fied that the road would be safe to use and present no slip haz­ard before we re-opened it. Sec­ondly an inspec­tion of the road sur­face would need to be made to deter­mine whether re-surfacing of the car­riage­way would be required due to any pos­si­ble dele­te­ri­ous effects of the lard upon it.  The fol­low­ing morn­ing circa 10:52 we were able to re-open the link road from the M25 J27 anti clock­wise to the M11 J6 north­bound and later at 13:07our con­trac­tors con­firmed that the clean-up was com­pleted and that they were assess­ing the car­riage­way for sur­face dam­age. This was con­firmed as sat­is­fac­tory and that re-surfacing would not be required. At 13:37 on the 06 Novem­ber con­fir­ma­tion was received that all work was com­pleted and that all clo­sures had been removed with both link roads now safe to use once again.

Travel media, Social media Twit­ter feeds and our High­ways Eng­land web­site were updated through­out the inci­dent by our National Inci­dent Liai­son and Press Officers.

High­ways Eng­land would like to thank motorists for their patience dur­ing this lengthy incident.


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