M62 Closure J21 – J20 Both Directions, Greater Manchester. Monday 04th July 2016

The M62 in Greater Man­ches­ter was closed in both direc­tions between J20 – J21 on Mon­day 04th July due to a seri­ous col­li­sion which occurred on the west­bound car­riage­way after a vehi­cle on the east­bound car­riage­way crossed over. Full col­li­sion inves­ti­ga­tion and recov­ery work was required before the road could be fully re-opened.

The M62 in Greater Man­ches­ter near Mil­nrow was closed on the 04th July due to a fatal road traf­fic col­li­sion which kept the road closed for most of the late morn­ing and after­noon. Shortly after 09:30 oper­a­tors at our North West Regional Con­trol Cen­tre were informed by Police of an inci­dent which had strewn debris across all lanes and a num­ber of vehi­cles had been reported as in col­li­sion. This trig­gered imme­di­ate despatch of High­ways Eng­land Traf­fic Offi­cers to assist. At this time a num­ber of resources were also deployed for an unplanned clo­sure of the M61 north­bound car­riage­way near Bolton for an inci­dent which hap­pened overnight and had extended through the morn­ing peak.

By 09:37 our col­leagues at the North West Motor­way Police Group con­firmed a car had gone through the cen­tral reser­va­tion into oncom­ing traf­fic and it was clear this was going to be a sig­nif­i­cant and pro­tracted inci­dent. The North West Regional Con­trol Cen­tre imme­di­ately called Greater Man­ches­ter Fire & Res­cue and located the inci­dent scene on CCTV to mon­i­tor events. Sim­u­la­tiously, our National Inci­dent Liai­son Offi­cers based at the National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre at Birm­ing­ham were also made aware and started to report and brief inter­nal teams and stake­hold­ers.  For our cus­tomers Break­ing News was updated on our web­site and tweets imme­di­ately issued on our regional twit­ter feeds. Real time traf­fic mon­i­tor­ing data was already start­ing to mea­sure delays of 20mins above pro­file this was start­ing to sharply rise.

At the inci­dent scene Fire and North West Ambu­lance Ser­vice began to assist casu­al­ties and Our North West Regional Con­trol Cen­tre began liais­ing with our Traf­fic Offi­cer units to head to junc­tions to ini­ti­ate clo­sures and also deter­mine what resources were to be pro­vided from our con­trac­tors. Amongst a num­ber of mea­sures was the pro­vi­sion of inci­dent screens and how best to man­age the release of traf­fic caught in the closure.

By 10:30 that morn­ing with the road for­mally closed the diver­sion was pub­lished and dis­sem­i­nated to media.  The diver­sions from the J20 and J21 were east­bound traf­fic to leave at J20 and fol­low the ‘Hol­low Black Cir­cle’ via the A627M, A664, A6193 and west­bound traf­fic to fol­low the ‘Solid Black Square’ from J21 via the A6193, A664 and A627M roads. In addi­tion to this local tac­ti­cal diver­sion, to sup­port the flow of traf­fic in and around Greater Man­ches­ter, staff at our National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre set strate­gic sig­nage to encour­age traf­fic trav­el­ling from far­ther afield intend­ing to use the M62 to con­sider alter­na­tive routes also signs were set to warn cus­tomers of delays which were also present on the A628 cross­ing the Pen­nines as this is often used when traf­fic self-divert due an M62 closure.

M62 Closure J21 – J20 MAP


By the mid-morning fur­ther details were emerg­ing and a tele­con­fer­ence was held to co-ordinate High­ways England’s response with its con­trac­tors.  One par­tic­u­lar issue was the bar­rier dam­age and poten­tial for remov­ing bar­ri­ers to allow release ahead of west­bound trapped traf­fic. Early in the inci­dent con­trac­tor bar­rier repair crews had been requested to scene. From 11:20 the Police and Fire Ser­vice were involved in the process of deter­min­ing whether this was viable. A rear­wards relief oper­a­tion to turn trapped traf­fic on the west­bound car­riage­way was under­way but the vol­ume of vehi­cles caught behind was caus­ing con­cern due to the time it would take to clear the vol­ume. The east­bound car­riage­way was less of an issue as trapped traf­fic only was pass­ing in sin­gle file on the near­side of the car­riage­way to be cleared.

Other con­trac­tor resources deployed were road sweeper vehi­cles and crews to re-enforce clo­sures of slip roads and main car­riage­ways. At the inci­dent scene the Fire Ser­vice were work­ing to extract a casu­alty who was seri­ously injured and then police could start the col­li­sion inves­ti­ga­tion work.

By the early after­noon delays were severe with delays nearly 90mins for approach­ing traf­fic and also the A628 had sig­nif­i­cant delays. At the scene the dif­fi­cult task of turn­ing trapped traf­fic on the west­bound car­riage­way was finally cleared by 14:30 and cen­tral reser­va­tion repair work was draw­ing to a close.


M62 westbound turn

Over the course of the next 2 hours the inci­dent inves­ti­ga­tion and vehi­cle recov­ery work con­tin­ued and impor­tantly the east­bound car­riage­way was able to be re-opened first. With police clear­ance to do so, the east­bound clo­sures were removed under hold of traf­fic and all lanes re-opened by our Traf­fic Offi­cers at 15:26. For safety rea­sons traf­fic was brought through on a slow rolling traf­fic block to ensure no sec­ondary inci­dents took place. Shortly after­wards our Police col­leagues advised that the col­li­sion inves­ti­ga­tion work on the west­bound car­riage­way was draw­ing to a close and the west­bound car­riage­way re-opened at 16:53.


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