M55 Closure Westbound, Lancashire. Tuesday 02 May 2017

The M55 in Lan­cashire was closed west­bound between J1 and J3 due to a
seri­ous inci­dent involv­ing 2 Heavy Goods Vehi­cles and 2 cars.

At approx­i­mately 08:50hrs, the North West Motor­way Police Group made our
col­leagues at the High­ways Eng­land north-west Regional Con­trol Cen­tre, aware of a seri­ous traf­fic col­li­sion involv­ing 2 cars and 2 Heavy Goods Vehi­cles. Traf­fic on the west­bound car­riage­way was held and Vari­able Mes­sage Signs (VMS) at the road­side were imme­di­ately acti­vated to warn road users of the inci­dent. The North West
Motor­way Police Group and other emer­gency Ser­vices made to the scene, sup­ported by our High­ways Eng­land traf­fic offi­cers. An Air Ambu­lance was also requested to attend. Our National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre (NTOC) in Birm­ing­ham were also informed, enabling our National Inci­dent liai­son Offi­cers (NILO) to pub­lish
infor­ma­tion on our web­site and to engage with cus­tomers via our @HighwaysNWest Twit­ter feeds. The NILO also informed the travel media and pub­lished a break­ing news mes­sage on our website.

At 09:10hrs, the North West Motor­way Police Group con­firmed that the west­bound car­riage­way had been fully closed while emer­gency ser­vices worked at the scene. Road users approach­ing the clo­sure were diverted off at J1 and a strate­gic diver­sion was put in place via the A6, A5085, A583 and A585, re-joining the M55 at J3. There was approx­i­mately 2½ miles of traf­fic ‘trapped’ within the motor­way clo­sure.
Emer­gency ser­vices con­tin­ued to work at the scene and at 10:20hrs, a joint oper­a­tion
com­menced to remove the ‘trapped’ traf­fic by turn­ing it around from the back of the queue. This con­tin­ued until a deci­sion was made to open emer­gency access gates on east­bound car­riage­way, enabling the remain­der of the ‘trapped’ traf­fic to be released via the oppo­site east­bound car­riage­way, by peri­od­i­cally hold­ing traffic.

At 14:40hrs, inci­dent screens were erected at the scene and the police advised that the remain­ing ‘trapped’ traf­fic could be released past the scene. One lane was then opened past the scene of the inci­dent, now that road users had been screened from view­ing the inci­dent: this allowed the remain­ing ‘trappped’ traf­fic to be released. All of the ‘trapped’ traf­fic was con­firmed clear at 15:30hrs, but the west­bound car­riage­way remained fully closed for a North West Motor­way Police Group inves­ti­ga­tion. Debris was cleared from the scene and at approx­i­mately 16:15hrs, our High­ways Eng­land traf­fic offi­cers were requested to remove the clo­sure and re-open one lane past the scene for all road users, while recov­ery work was car­ried out.

At 17:10hrs, our North West Regional Con­trol Cen­tre con­firmed all inves­ti­ga­tions were com­plete and all lanes had been opened. The inves­ti­ga­tion by North West Motor­way Police Group sadly con­firmed one fatal injury from the scene.

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.