M42 Closure Both Directions, Worcestershire, Sunday 09 July 2017

The M42 in Worces­ter­shire was closed in both direc­tions between J2 and the M5 due to a seri­ous inci­dent involv­ing 4 cars and a Heavy Goods Vehi­cle which resulted in dam­age to the carriageway.

At approx­i­mately 20:55 on Sun­day 9 July, the Cen­tral Motor­way Police Group alerted their High­ways Eng­land col­leagues at the West Mid­lands Regional Con­trol Cen­tre (WM RCC), of a seri­ous road traf­fic col­li­sion involv­ing 4 cars and a Heavy Goods Vehi­cle. We imme­di­ately set signs and sig­nals at the road­side to warn motorists and rapidly deployed our Traf­fic Offi­cers to assist the emer­gency ser­vices. Units at the scene con­firmed that 3 of the cars had caught fire. Here­ford and Worces­ter Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice quickly attended and tack­led the blaze. Crews from West Mid­lands Ambu­lance Ser­vice also attended. Sadly, an occu­pant in one of the cars suf­fered fatal injuries.

By 21:17, there was approx­i­mately 3½ miles of queu­ing traf­fic on the M42
south­bound and 2½ miles of queu­ing traf­fic on the oppo­site M42 north­bound, approach­ing the collision.

At 22:06, the Police allowed the M42 north­bound to re-open, but the M42 south­bound would remain closed through the evening and into the fol­low­ing morn­ing while the Cen­tral Motor­way Police Group con­ducted a full investigation.

A num­ber of motorists were ‘trapped’ inside the sec­tion of motor­way that had been closed on the M42 south­bound, J2 — M5. Our Traf­fic Offi­cers worked hard to help the Police turn around the ‘trapped’ traf­fic and escort it safely back up the motor­way so that it could exit at J2. By 00:30, all of the ‘trapped’ traf­fic had been released.

Our 24 / 7 National Inci­dent Liai­son Offi­cer (NILO) based at the National Traf­fic
Oper­a­tions Cen­tre, pub­lished updated infor­ma­tion to the High­ways Eng­land web­site and engaged with our cus­tomers via the @HighwaysWMIDS Twit­ter feed.

The NILO also pro­vided real-time updates to the travel media and pub­lished the strate­gic diver­sion route.

Traf­fic approach­ing the clo­sure of the M42 south­bound at J2 was advised to fol­low the Black Hol­low Cir­cle diver­sion sym­bol via the A441(S) towards Red­ditch, to then take the A448(W) Broms­grove High­way, before then tak­ing the A38 south­bound, to finally join the M5 at J5 (near Droitwich).

Once the police inves­ti­ga­tion was com­plete, the dif­fi­cult task of vehi­cle recov­ery and clean-up com­menced imme­di­ately. The Cen­tral Motor­way Police Group handed the scene over to High­ways Eng­land at 04:52.

Dur­ing work to remove the vehi­cles that were involved in the col­li­sion, it soon became clear that the inten­sity of the blaze had dam­aged the road sur­face. High­ways Eng­land mobilised resources so that emer­gency repairs could com­mence as quickly as possible.

By 05:30, we had already begun to re-surface the dam­aged road and spe­cial­ist equip­ment such as Hydrob­lasters were being used exten­sively. As we con­tin­ued to work hard to get the road re-opened as quickly as pos­si­ble, queues on the M42 south­bound approach­ing the clo­sure at J2 (near Alvechurch) had grown to 1¼ miles by 06:35

At 08:22, High­ways Eng­land had com­pleted the emer­gency repairs to the dam­aged road sur­face. It was then safe to re-open the M42 southbound.

High­ways Eng­land would like to thank our all of our cus­tomers who were affected by this inci­dent for their patience and under­stand­ing throughout.