Drivers in South Yorkshire are being advised that parts of the M1 are slowly re-opening as a result of recovery work on the northbound carriageway south of Sheffield.
A serious lorry fire between junction 30 and 31 of the motorway north of Barlborough resulted in the closure of the northbound carriageway from around 10.20am today (Tuesday 25 June) but following Highways Agency recovery work lane three of the carriageway re-opened at 4pm with further recovery work to re-open the other two lanes likely to continue throughout this evening’s peak travel period.
The curtain-sided vehicle was carrying cardboard, leaving a considerable amount of debris to be cleared from the carriageway.
The vehicle itself was severely damaged and specialist recovery is having to take place and the trailer cut to allow it to be moved onto a low-loader vehicle away from the carriageway - which itself will have to be inspected for damage and possibly repaired - before lane one of the carriageway can be re-opened.
Although the carriageway has now partially re-opened drivers are being advised that there is still very heavy congestion in the area stretching back several miles and also along local diversion routes including the A619, A60 and A57 west of Worksop.
The Highways Agency is advising drivers that congestion is likely to continue into this evening’s peak travel period while traffic associated with the incident clears - and they should continue to avoid this part of the motorway network by taking an alternative route or delaying their journeys if at all possible.
Highways Agency Traffic Officers have been at the scene helping to manage traffic throughout the incident. Colleagues at the North East and East Midlands regional control centres at Wakefield and Nottingham and at the National Traffic Operations Centre at Birmingham have set signs across the local, regional and national motorway network to advise drivers of the incident.
The Highways Agency provides live traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms, such as the iPhone. Local Twitter services are also available at @HAtraffic_yorks and @HAtraffic_emids.
Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways Agency Information Line (0300 123 5000) to keep up to date with road conditions.