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Drivers stuck for hours after M6 lorry crash

Hundreds of drivers were stranded after a lorry overturned and closed the M6 for more than four hours.

M6 photo
Delays on the M6 near Carlisle

The HGV crashed between junction 42 near Carlisle and junction 41, blocking all three carriageways last night.

The accident led to tailbacks of more than three miles and heavy traffic on diversionary routes.

Police said the lorry overturned on the southbound carriageway at around 4pm but the scene was not cleared until 2.30am.

Angela Huck, a solicitor with local firm Burnetts, faced a “mammoth” drive home.

She said the incident doubled the length of her commute from Carlisle to her house in the south of Cumbria.

Ms Huck headed home from her office at 5pm and was on the motorway for two hours.

She found the episode frustrating but understood why there was such a long delay, she said.

“I saw a lot of people complaining about the police but my view is we’re the least of their worries,” she said. “You’ve got to let them do their job and you’ve got to just sit and wait.”

Ms Huck sent updates about what was happening on the road to her Twitter account. She Tweeted that she had moved three miles in 30 minutes and it had taken her one hour and 15 minutes to get from junction 41 to 43 via a diversion.

Traffic was eventually diverted down the A6, where Ms Huck was able to see the full extent of the incident and subsequent tailbacks. She was concerned about the behaviour of some of the drivers after they made their way out of the jam.

“There was a lot of reckless overtaking going on,” she said.

Another driver, Anthony Ferguson, was stuck on the road from 4.20pm until 7.15pm. He reported several drivers, including himself, needing to ask for jump leads as their batteries failed in the long wait.

The first lane reopened at 6.20pm but the southbound carriageway was not completely cleared until after 2am.

A police spokeswoman said there was “a lot of debris” on the road. Officers are now investigating the cause of the incident. The 52-year-old male driver of the lorry was not injured.

The fire service sent two appliances to the scene and helped to make the area safe.

Have your say

@ Anon on 16 April 2012 at 17:35 -

The Police are not responsible for clearing the road, neither can they 'decide' that opening a road is more important than investigating an accident.

Accidents happen, or rather they are caused, it is right and proper that they are investigated and the cause identified. Otherwise how can they do their job and ensure dangerous driver or vehicle operators are taken off the roads? Do you believe that your own personal journey is more important than this? You need to take a long hard look at yourself.

In nearly all cases, these type of incidents can be avoided if people would just drive more effectively, courteously, and respect that other vehicles on the roads have different requirements. Trucks cannot stop in the same time as a car, or a motorcycle. Truck drivers cannot speed up as quickly, cannot see as much. Motorcycles are much more effective at getting through traffic but many car drivers see this as some kind of personal insult. I've seen white vans driving at stupidly close distances hassling drivers who are carrying out a perfectly legal manoeuvre. Truck drivers can be as bad, pulling out with little or no warning, forcing car drivers in the middle lane to take action, driving too close - The list is endless. If everyone set off and decided to themselves they would be better drivers these type of incidents wouldn't happen anything like as often.

Don't blame the Police, Fire, Recovery, Highways or anyone else involved in clearing up the mess. The blame, or rather responsibility lies squarely with those who caused the accident in the first place.

Posted by PaulM on 17 April 2012 at 08:50

The police should get their act together. They should have lifting gear on standby and their procedures should be changed so as they only continue with accident investigation if it isn't causing the road to be closed for longer than necessary to clear the accident and help the injured. Closing roads like this costs the economy a fortune we can't afford.

Posted by Anon on 16 April 2012 at 17:35

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