M6 Closure Northbound, Lancashire, Monday 12 - Tuesday 13 December 2016

The M6 was closed North­bound between J31 and J32 due to a heavy goods vehi­cle fire.

At approx­i­mately 21:20 Lan­cashire Fire and Res­cue made our col­leagues at the High­ways Eng­land North West­ Regional Con­trol Cen­tre aware of a vehi­cle fire on the M6 north­bound and requested assis­tance to close the carriageway.

It emerged that a 44 tonne heavy goods vehi­cle car­ry­ing paint aerosols and car wax had caught fire block­ing all lanes of the motor­way. Due to the inten­sity of the fire and the explod­ing aerosols Lan­cashire fire requested that the south­bound car­riage­way was held until they had the blaze under control.

M6 LancashireHigh­ways Eng­land Traf­fic Offi­cers and North West Motor­way Police arrived on scene and imple­mented the clo­sure while the fire ser­vice dealt with the fire. Diver­sions were quickly put into place to route traf­fic around the clo­sure. High­ways Eng­land worked hard with our part­ners and the emer­gency ser­vices to help release those motorists caught inside the clo­sure of the motorway.

Through­out the dura­tion of the motor­way clo­sure, infor­ma­tion was pro­vided to our cus­tomers in real-time via our elec­tronic vari­able mes­sage signs (VMS) at the road­side, via the media, on our twit­ter accounts, via the High­ways Eng­land web­sites and to cus­tomers call­ing our cus­tomer con­tact centre.

Due to the inten­sity of the fire it took an hour for the fire ser­vice to get the blaze under con­trol and it was finally extin­guished at approx. 22:20. Lanes 1 and 2 were then opened on the south­bound. Lane 3 remained closed while High­ways Eng­land crews cleared the car­riage­way of debris. The south­bound was fully re-opened at approx. 00:20.

Lan­cashire Fire con­tin­ued to work to make the scene safe and super­vised the
recov­ery of the burnt out truck and trailer. Spe­cialised heavy recov­ery crews were deployed and the recov­ery was com­pleted at approx. 06:30.

Due to the fire dam­age and the spilled car wax from the HGVs load it was nec­es­sary to dig up and resur­face the hard shoul­der and 4 of the 5 lanes.  Lane 5 was re-opened while this work was undertaken.

While the emer­gency resur­fac­ing was car­ried out our cus­tomers were kept informed by VMS, the Media, Twit­ter and HE web­sites. The strate­gic diver­sion (A59/A6)  was left in place and cus­tomers head­ing for  Scot­land were advised to use the M1/A66,
nev­er­the­less delays dur­ing the morn­ing still reached over 2 hours.

High­ways Eng­land and its con­trac­tors con­tin­ued to work hard through­out the inci­dent and were grad­u­ally able to re-open lanes as work was com­pleted. Lane 4 was re-opened at approx. 13:50 with lane 3 and then lane 2 re-opening within the next 90 min­utes. Work was com­pleted and the final lane was re-opened at approx. 15:30.

If you were affected by this clo­sure High­ways Eng­land would like to thank you for your patience and under­stand­ing through­out this event.

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