Lessons need to be learnt after traffic chaos

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Wakefield Council leader Peter Box has said that lessons need to be learnt after a day of traffic mayhem in the district.

Coun Box, who is also the chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, has called for a meeting with the Highways Agency and Combined Authority to review the response to last Tuesday’s traffic disruption.

An image from the M62 lorry fire from Wednesday. ( Picture credit: Michael Ferguson)

An image from the M62 lorry fire from Wednesday. ( Picture credit: Michael Ferguson)

The day of chaos began during the morning when a lorry caught fire between Junction 29 at M1 Lofthouse and Junction 30 at Rothwell.

There were long tailbacks as both carriageways were shut to deal with the blaze, which happened just after 6.30am.

The westbound carriageway was opened later in the day, but the eastbound side remained closed well into the evening as work was carried out to repair the road.

Drivers faced further delays and long tail-backs in and out of the city during the afternoon after a 38-year-old woman was knocked down on Doncaster Road at around 1.10pm. The road was closed in both directions, between Sugar Lane and Denmark Street junction until 5.30pm.

A collision between a double decker bus and a lorry caused more tail-backs later in the afternoon. The vehicles collided near Marsh Way roundabout at 3.30pm.

Coun Box expressed concern at the disruption to West Yorkshire’s road network and the local economy.

He said: “Unfortunately incidents like these are beyond our control, but we need to make sure that we learn lessons from incidents such as these so we can act quickly in any future incidents.

“The impact that closing the M62 is huge and combined with another incident on a major road resulted in gridlock. We need to make sure that it is a priority of the Highways Agency to reopen roads quicker.”