DCSIMG

Calls for action over road closure

Congestion on the M6 following an accident near Junction 31a at Longridge/Preston East

Congestion on the M6 following an accident near Junction 31a at Longridge/Preston East

A North West MP is calling for more action to minimise road closure times following accidents on a motorway.

New figures show that last year, 25 smashes on the 100-mile stretch of the M6 from Standish to Carlisle resulted in closures to either one carriageway or more for 133 hours 36 minutes - or the equivalent of five-and-a-half days and nights.

The disruption and its knock-on effect for traffic in places like Preston, Chorley, Leyland and Lancaster was almost double that of the previous year, with 2012 witnessing 16 accidents which blocked the motorway for a total of 72 hours, or three full days.

John Woodcock, Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, who requested the figures, said he worried problems with M6 closures could have an impact on businesses and emergency vehicles.

He said: “Safety on the road and reliability for its users is absolutely essential.

“These worrying figures show big steps backwards in both these respects.”

One short stretch near Garstang saw seven fatal accidents - costing nine lives in total - between 2005 and 2011.

That same piece of road was also the scene of one of the UK’s worst-ever smashes when a coach ploughed into the back of almost stationary traffic at a contraflow in October 1985, killing 13 people.

The most up-to-date figures on fatalities on the M6 show that, in Lancashire alone during the eight years from 2005 to 2012, there were 28 accidents which led to the loss of 34 lives.

 

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