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.
Highways 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.
Did you find this bulletin useful? We really welcome your feedback. Please click here to help us. Thank you.