Seven vehicle crash shuts M61 near Chorley for more than three hours

There have been delays of more than three hours on the M61 following a multi-vehicle crash.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 7:57 am
Updated Sunday, 15th December 2019, 11:29 am

The northbound carriage was closed at round 7.20am on Sunday (December 15) between junctions eight for Chorley and nine for the M65 Interchange due to an incident involving seven vehicles, including two HGVs.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "Please be aware that the M61 is currently closed between junction eight and junction nine northbound.

"We are currently dealing with an RTC and our officers will re-open this section as soon as possible."

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Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service along with North West Ambulance Service were both in attendance, with heavy delays back to junction six for Horwich.

A diversion route was installed tellings motorists to leave the M61 at junction eight and to follow the A674 westbound towards the A6, directing motorists through Chorley and towards Walton Summit before rejoining the motorway at the M65 Interchange.

At 9.20am, Lancashire Police's Force Incident Manager, Tim Cousins, confirmed that the incident was "pretty much clear".

He added that Highways England have also brought in gritters to stop icy layers forming in the aftermath of hail storms.

The M61 at junction 9 (Image: Highways England)

Mr Cousins added that there have been "nine or 10 collisions on Lancashire's motorway network this morning because of the sudden change in driving conditions", adding that "people are perhaps not slowing down or adjusting to them".

He continued: "The message is that we are getting bands of hail and rain across the county and it's bringing hazardous driving conditions, particularly on the motorway network.

"There are thankfully no serious injuries with these incidents.

"Our plea is for people to adjust their driving style and be aware that these bands are coming out of nowhere.

"Be prepared to take longer with journeys.

"We want people to be going about their business safely.

"We're asking for people to exercise caution."

The carriageway was fully re-opened by around 11.10am.