M2 Closure Eastbound, Kent. Tuesday 13 June 2017

The M2 in Kent was closed east­bound between J6 and J7 due to a seri­ous
inci­dent involv­ing 3 Heavy Goods Vehi­cles which resulted in a large diesel spillage.

At approx­i­mately 15:11hrs, Kent Police made our col­leagues at the High­ways
Eng­land South East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre (SERCC), aware of a seri­ous col­li­sion involv­ing three Heavy Goods Vehi­cles (HGV’s). SERCC imme­di­ately set signs and sig­nals on the M2 and deployed High­ways Eng­land Traf­fic Offi­cers to sup­port the emer­gency ser­vices on scene. Kent Police were the first to arrive at scene at
approx­i­mately 15:27hrs and advised that the inci­dent was going to be pro­tracted given the num­ber and types of vehi­cles involved. Kent Police held traf­fic whilst
High­ways Eng­land Traf­fic Offi­cers imple­mented a full clo­sure of the east­bound carriageway.

A diver­sion route was insti­gated with traf­fic advised to exit the M2 at J6 and take the A251 north­bound towards Faver­sham. Then fol­low the A2 east­bound to re-join the M2 at J7.

High­ways Eng­land Traf­fic Offi­cers (HETO’s) escorted trapped traf­fic slowly passed the scene and all trapped traf­fic was released by 16:11 hrs.

SE RCC con­tacted Kent County Coun­cil and the Port of Dover to make them aware of the clo­sure. Our National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre (NTOC) in Birm­ing­ham was also informed, enabling our National Inci­dent liai­son Offi­cers (NILO) to pub­lish
infor­ma­tion on our web­site and to engage with cus­tomers via our @HighwaysSEAST Twit­ter feeds. The NILO also informed the travel media and pub­lished a break­ing news mes­sage on our website.

Once on scene it was estab­lished that one of the HGV’s involved had leaked a full tank of diesel across the east­bound car­riage­way. SE RCC requested the atten­dance of our con­trac­tors to clear the spillage and assess the car­riage­way for any dam­age sus­tained to the road sur­face. It was imper­a­tive that clean-up work began straight away to enable our con­trac­tors to save the car­riage­way and pre­vent the need for resur­fac­ing, as this would have extended the length of time that the clo­sure was in place for. Spe­cial­ist clean­ing machin­ery was sent to scene and work began to clean the car­riage­way. Clean-up work and car­riage­way assess­ments could not be fully com­pleted until all of the vehi­cles involved had been recovered.

Kent Police arranged vehi­cle recov­ery for all the vehi­cles involved. The process of recov­er­ing the vehi­cles was lengthy as one of the HGV’s involved was a fully laden car trans­porter. As a result of the col­li­sion a num­ber of cars on the trans­porter had sus­tained dam­age and caused the load to become unsta­ble, requir­ing some of the cars to be cut off. Dur­ing the col­li­sion one of the cars fell off the trans­porter and came to rest on the hard shoul­der. Due to type of vehi­cle and dif­fi­cul­ties with its load, the atten­dance of spe­cial­ist recov­ery was required.

Due to the large vol­ume of traf­fic queue­ing to exit the M2 at J6 and a num­ber of
bro­ken down vehi­cles block­ing the hard shoul­der, our con­trac­tors and recov­ery
vehi­cles were delayed in get­ting to scene. In an attempt to pre­vent more traf­fic join­ing the queues, the east­bound entry slip road at J5 was closed and addi­tional Vari­able
Mes­sage Signs (VMS) was set at the road¬side and adjoin­ing motor­ways advis­ing of severe delays and the delay times. At the peak of this inci­dent delays approach­ing the clo­sure were in excess of 2 and half hours above nor­mal trav­el­ling time.

In an effort to help our cus­tomers head­ing for the south coast and in par­tic­u­lar the Port of Dover, a strate­gic diver­sion was signed for on our over­head gantries to encour­age road users to divert and use the A249 and the M20.

M2 J6 - J7 Closure
At 22:31hrs Kent Police advised that vehi­cle recov­ery work was com­plete for all three vehi­cles and handed the man­age­ment of this inci­dent over to High­ways Eng­land. At this point we had com­pleted spillage clear­ance work in lane 2 and estab­lished that we had man­aged to save the car­riage­way and resur­fac­ing work was not required. This enabled us to re-open lane 2, whilst we con­tin­ued to clean the spillage from lane 1 and the hard shoul­der.
Re-opening of lane 2 reduced the delays approach­ing J6 dra­mat­i­cally and allowed us to re-open the entry slip road at J5. Our con­trac­tors were able to save the
car­riage­way in lane 1 and the hard shoul­der which fully re-opened at 00:44hrs. When the car­riage­way fully re-opened all resid­ual delays had cleared.

Through­out the inci­dent reg­u­lar updates were tweeted on the High­ways
Eng­land regional twit­ter feeds and clo­sures pub­lished on Break­ing News on
High­ways Eng­land web­sites. High­ways Eng­land would like to thank cus­tomers who were affected dur­ing the inci­dent for their patience and understanding.