Leaves on grids blamed for motorway closure

The M65
The M65
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Lancashire County Council has apologised to East Lancashire motorists disrupted by the closure of the M65 motorway this morning, citing leaves on the grid as the reason for flooding.

Hundreds of frustrated commuters across Burnley, Nelson and Colne found their journeys disrupted at rush hour this morning when motorway police were forced to close the eastbound carriageway of the M65 for several hours between junctions 10 for Padiham and 14 for the Boundary Mill roundabout after sections of the road became impassable.

The stretch of the motorway was reopened later in the morning, but many angry motorists took to social media to complain, with most blaming new concrete safety barriers, recently installed, that do not allow for drainage.

Lancashire County Council said weather conditions, including wind and rain, had led to leaves blocking gullies and preventing drainage.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "We are sorry for any inconvenience drivers in East Lancashire experienced this morning.

"At this time of year there are often problems with leaves blown on to the grids covering gullies which prevents drainage and that is what has happened on the M65 and the Padiham Bypass.

"Our highways staff attended very quickly to clear the leaves and we will have roadsweepers out later on today in readiness for further rain forecast for tonight and tomorrow. In the event of further surface water we would ask drivers to slow down and drive to the conditions."

All lanes have now re-opened but some surface water remains and road users are advised to drive with caution.