Highways Agency defends response to M62 gridlock

Lorry crash on west-bound M62, Hartshead Moor, Brighouse
Lorry crash on west-bound M62, Hartshead Moor, Brighouse

The Highways Agency have defended their response after two serious collisions in two days brought the M62 to a grinding halt causing choas on routes through Calderdale.

All three lanes were closed on the M62 westbound at Brighouse after a collision involving two lorries and a car on Wednesday caused an oil spillage on the carriageway.

Drivers faced delays of more than two hours and jams stretched back to junction 28, A650 (Tingley), with the misery for motorists around surrounding roads in Brighouse spreading to the A62 Leeds Road and the M621 due to traffic diverting.

The incident occurred about a third of a mile before junction 25 at Clifton going westbound, only a short distance from where another accident occurred almost exactly 24 hours earlier.

That collision on Tuesday caused the motorway to be closed for SIX hours after a vehicle overturned between Ainley Top (junction 24) and the Clifton turn-off (junction 25), causing seven miles of queues.

A 61-year-old woman from Bolton was taken to Leeds General Infirmary with severe injuries

Two other passengers were taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Firefighters from Elland and Brighouse attended the scene and used heavy rescue appliances to free the victims from the vehicle.

The closure caused gridlock on the M62 in Calderdale and many surrounding roads for several hours affecting Brighouse, Hipperholme, Sowerby Bridge, Ripponden and the A629 Elland by-pass.

Bus services were also affected across Calderdale with delays to schools transport and ordinary routes.

But today in a statement, the Highways Agency said: “The fire, police and ambulance services, along with the Highways Agency, are all signed up to the CLEAR initiative, which is aimed at clearing serious motorway incidents as soon as possible. We are committed to cutting the length of time drivers are inconvenienced when there are serious accidents on the motorway. We also routinely review our respective performances at such incidents to inform and improve future responses.

“These incidents were both very serious and one required a police investigation, for which we had to wait until we could re-open the motorway. We sympathise with any drivers who were inconvenienced by the incidents and thank them for their patience.”