M6 to shut for emergency repairs after lorry crash and fire
There were major delays on the M6 and surrounding roads in Staffordshire after a serious lorry crash shut both sides of the motorway.
The key road was shut in both directions for more than 10 hours between Junction 12 for Cannock and Junction 13 for Stafford after a HGV crashed through the central reservation, overturned and caught fire at around 1am on Wednesday.
Three out of four lanes are now back open in both directions - after southbound was opened at midday and northbound at 3.30pm - but the motorway will be fully shut again from 10pm until 5am for resurfacing.
A large amount of diesel spilled onto the road and around five metres of the central reservation barrier was knocked out when the lorry crashed from the southbound side into the northbound carriageway.
The driver walked away with minor injuries and was taken to hospital as a precaution as workers set about carrying out "extensive" repairs to the road.
A Highways England spokesman explained: "Due to the significant amount of debris and fuel spread across the northbound carriageway and extensive damage caused to the central reservation, the northbound carriageway closure and lane closures on the southbound will remain in place for several more hours.
"The full width of the northbound carriageway requires resurfacing at the scene as the tarmac has been extensively damaged.
"It is not expected for the northbound carriageway to reopen until late afternoon and it will need to be fully closed again overnight tonight."
Northbound drivers are being diverted between junctions 12 and 13 via the A5 to Gailey and then up the A449.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “The driver of the lorry, a man, was already out of the vehicle when the ambulance crew stopped to render aid.
"He was assessed on scene and treated for relatively minor injuries before being taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital as a precaution.
“Considering what happened, it’s incredibly lucky that no one suffered serious injuries.”
Advice for drivers
"There is a diversion for northbound traffic and it is signed by the hollow triangle diversion symbol on local road signs.
"At Junction 12 take the exit to the A5 westbound. Continue along the A5 west to its junction with the A449, Gailey.
"Take the exit to the A449 northbound and continue towards the M6 Junction 13.
"The northbound M6 towards Junction 12 and the diversion route are severely congested and road users in the area are advised to expect significant disruption with extra journey time if you intend to use this section of M6 and the diversion.
"You may wish to consider re-routing or delaying your journey.
"If travelling towards this area from much farther afield, delay information will remain visible on our on-road variable message signs until delays have cleared.
"If heading for the North West region from the East Midlands, East of England or South East, please consider using the M1 north, A50 west, A500 Stoke-on-Trent distributor road to access the M6 at either Junction 15 or Junction 16.
"If travelling to the North West from the West Midlands please consider using alternative routes.
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