Police and partners successfully tackle one of the busiest days on the M6 following PCC’s motorway hearings
March 13 was one of the busiest ever days on the M6,
with lorry fires, car crashes and a broken-down coach affecting the
journeys of thousands of motorists.
Added to the motorway mix were four arrests, the seizure of 20
vehicles and 62 tickets for drivers not wearing seatbelts.
However, thanks to improved ways of working following West
Midlands PCC's hearings into major incident response on the
motorway, people were back up and moving quicker than before and
any major injuries were avoided.
On Monday March 13, Highways England and Central Motorway
Policing Group (CMPG) had to deal with the following incidents all
on the M6:
- A crash between two cars and a HGV, which shed its load on the
- A car on its side against the central reservation barrier.
- Another crash between two cars and a HGV.
- A HGV carrying toilet paper on fire.
- A broken-down coach on one of the busiest stretches of
CMPG also arrested four people seized a total of 20 vehicles and
issued 62 tickets as part of crackdown on drivers not wearing
But the network was up and running much faster than previously
and major injuries were avoided after new ways of working from the
Commissioner's hearings in March and December were implemented.
The improvements included:
10.18am crash between two cars and a HGV that shed its load on M6
northbound between J5 and J6
The lorry lost its load on both the north and southbound
carriageways but quick action by Highways England saw the
southbound carriageway restored to four lanes swiftly. The
northbound carriageway took longer but a quickly-executed temporary
repair allowed it to reopen sooner than before. All lanes were
reopened by 2.26pm.
12.05pm car on its side on M6 southbound at Packington Bank between
Birmingham and Coventry
The car crashed into the central reservation and came to rest
with no wheels touching the floor. However, joint working between
the emergency services and Highways England saw the car dragged to
the hard shoulder and all lanes reopened with 11 minutes and no
Three: 3.05pm crash between an HGV and two cars on M6 southbound
between J7 and J6
In order to get a speedy assessment of the scene, CPMG stopped
in the outer most lane of the northbound carriageway, hopped over
the barrier and relayed the information back, allowing other
services to gauge their resource requirements. Once safe, the
vehicles were then dragged into lane four to get things moving
again. All lanes were reopened at 5.55pm but two were operational
within 40 minutes of the incident. Two minor injuries were
4.18pm HGV carrying toilet paper on fire on M6 northbound near
The lorry caught fire on the hard shoulder, forcing the closure
of the M6 south. Fast action by Warwickshire and West Midlands Fire
allowed bosses at the scene to make the call that, even though the
fire was not completely out, two lanes could reopen to ease the
congestion. All lanes were reopened by 9.14pm and there were no
6.04pm broken-down coach on M6 southbound at J9
The coach broke down in lane two but was recovered within 45
minutes and all lanes were reopened by 7.27pm.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David
Jamieson said: "This improved way of joint-working is
clearly making our motorway network more efficient.
"We all know the M6 can be a nightmare but this faster way of
working following my summits is is improving things massively.
"I'd like to thank CPMG, Highways England and all of the
emergency services for their exceptional efforts."
Chief Inspector Jared White from CMPG said:
"Policing a motorway as busy as the M6 is a demanding job -
especially on days like March 13.
"However, by working in partnership with other agencies and
emergency services, we were able to keep things moving and keep
people safe, which is always our top priority."
Highways England emergency planning officer for the West
Midlands Frank Bird added: "Safety is our top priority, by
clearing incidents quickly, traffic officers reduce the impact of
incident-related congestion and also reduce the risk of secondary
"There were a number of incidents on the M6 on Monday (13 March)
that all took place within quick succession of each other. By
continuing to work collaboratively with our partners, we were able
to deal with them quickly and effectively and keep the Midlands
For the full details of the Commissioner's motorway hearings and
the recommendations made, click