Photos released of the M1 'complex incident' that caused A5 at Milton Keynes to be gridlocked today

Part of the motorway southbound has been closed for most of the day
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National Highways have released photos of the “complex incident” that caused a stretch of the M1 to close and traffic diverted to Milton Keynes today.

The chaos began when an HGV overturned on the M1 near Northampton just before 8am.

The vehicle’s cab came to rest on the concrete central barrier after the truck rolled about one mile south of junction 16, with the trailer sprawled across all four lanes.

The lorry was across the carriageway on the M1The lorry was across the carriageway on the M1
The lorry was across the carriageway on the M1

But National Highways describe the work to get the lorry upright and recover it, together with repairing the central barrier, as “complex and painstaking”. They are also treating a fuel spillage following the incident

The work kept the motorway closed southbound for hours, with queues back to junction 17 heading south.

The official diversion routes included the A5 between the M6 and Milton Keynes; and the A43 between Towcester and Northampton. These have been gridlocked as drivers sought an alternative route.

On the motorway, traffic trapped behind the wrecked lorry was finally released just after noon, more than four hours after the crash. A string of lorries had to be turned around and headed the ‘wrong way’ back up the motorway to junction 16.

By 4pm today the M1 was re-opened southbound between J16 and J15a (Northampton). But two of the four lanes remain closed northbound for “extensive spillage clear-up works”, say National Highways. There is a 20 minute delay on approach.

National Highways Duty Operations Manager, Jo Dean said early this afternoon: “This is a complex incident and we’re working hard to get the affected part of the M1 southbound back open to motorists as soon as it is safe to do so.

“We’re still working at scene alongside specialist recovery teams to remove the lorry and while that process continues, we’d advise motorists to avoid using the M1 southbound while we deal with the incident. We’d like to thank people for their patience while we carry out this work.”

For live traffic updates follow the @HighwaysEMIDS Twitter feed. The National Highways 24/7 customer contact centre team can also provide up-to-the minute information on 0300 123 5000.