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M6 and M61 reopen at Preston after icy conditions cause hours of delays

Posted on - 27th December, 2020 - 7:56pm | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Preston News, Roads, South Ribble News, Transport
Icy conditions on the M6 at Preston as viewed from a fire engine Pic: Preston Fire Station
Icy conditions on the M6 at Preston as viewed from a fire engine Pic: Preston Fire Station

Emergency services have reopened the M6 and the M61 after snow and ice saw a string of crashes.

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From 3.30pm on Sunday (27 December) motorists were left stranded after hail storms, snow and freezing temperatures turned the section of the M6 from Junction 28 at Leyland to Junction 32 at Broughton into a very cold car park.

Pictures released by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service show the conditions drivers faced and emergency services worked in to take drivers and passengers to safety.

Tyre tracks show where drivers skidded off the motorway Pic: Preston Fire Station
Tyre tracks show where drivers skidded off the motorway Pic: Preston Fire Station

The first crash, between Junction 31 and Junction 31A originally saw two lanes shut before a full closure was put in place just before 4pm.

At the same time ‘up to 20 vehicles’ were involved in a crash where the M61 merges into the M6 at Junction 30.

Emergency services attended and the road was shut causing up to two-hour delays for many motorists.

And around 4.30pm another crash on the M6, shortly after Junction 28 for Leyland, also shut the northbround side.

See the latest traffic and travel information near you below

Lancashire Police said there had been further crashes on the M65 during Sunday evening, which caused congestion back onto the M6 southbound.

All incidents were cleared around 7.45pm and Highways England are showing only minor delays remaining on the M61 northbound with the M6 running freely.

The Met Office has a snow and ice warning in force for Preston and Lancashire through until Monday (28 December) morning and emergency services are reminding drivers to adjust their speed for the icy conditions and motorists are reminded only essential journeys should be undertaken given the current tier-3 restrictions.

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