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Live Reporting

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    A reminder as we end our live coverage for the day that lanes on the M6 will be closing again J12-J13 from 22:00-06:00 for further repairs.

    Diversions should be in place.

    You can read all our updates on today's chaos below and if you encounter further problems this evening or tonight, let us know.

    Thanks for sticking with us and getting in touch.

  2. A day to forget for drivers on the M6

    For drivers on the M6 it's been a day to forget from the moment the motorway was shut near Stafford just after midnight.

    Overturned lorry

    A lorry had hit the central barrier, overturned and caught fire, although the ambulance service said the driver only suffered minor injuries.

    But, because of the blaze and with debris and fuel spread over both sides of the carriageway, Highways England took several hours to clear the route and make repairs.

    Huge queues and stationary traffic were reported not just on the M6 either side of the accident, but on surrounding routes.

    Several told us they'd been stuck in tailbacks for five hours. Some, including delivery drivers said they'd been forced to turn around unable to complete their jobs, despite spending most of the day in traffic jams.

    Lorry being lifted from carriageway

    Drivers spent that time struggling to get more than a few hundred yards in an hour and surrounding routes quickly became jammed with cars and lorries.

    The strongest criticism from drivers throughout the day was regarding warning signs and advice for those heading towards the scene of the cash.

    It was about 12 hours after the crash when the first lanes reopened, on the southbound side, with three reopening on the northbound side before 16:00.

  3. BreakingLatest on tonight's closures

    We've had another update from Highways England on those closures tonight J12-J13 from 22:00.

    The good news is that one lane will remain open southbound throughout the night.

    The bad news is that the northbound carriageway will shut completely from 22:00 till about 06:00 to allow for repairs to the concrete barrier.

    Even after 06:00, only three lanes will be open in each direction past the scene of today's crash for the next few days to allow the concrete to cure.

    After that, the temporary barriers should be removed and all lanes will reopened.

    Here's the condition of the central reservation barrier this afternoon.

    M6 barrier

    And this gives a sense of how it was damaged.

    Lorry crash on M6
  4. Stream of traffic 'crawled past house'

    It's not just drivers who have suffered today, as Colin Lloyd says, living in the small town of Penkridge.

    "Spare a thought for us and everybody else living on the A449 in Penkridge suffering all day with the stream of lorries crawling past our house and the traffic fumes AND we have to suffer it again tonight from 22:00!" he wrote.

    Earlier Richard Hancher told us his mother had been effectively left trapped in her home near J12, because of the volume of traffic passing outside.

  5. Some drivers 'added to M6 congestion'

    A number of drivers hampered efforts to get the M6 moving again in Staffordshire today, Highways England has said.

    Both sides of the motorway were shut from about 00:30 after a lorry crash between J12 and J13.

    Drivers have complained to the BBC and on Twitter about how long it's taken to get the M6 moving again.

    In response, Highways England's said it's had cases of vehicles blocking lanes and, in some cases, drivers even ignoring the red X's on motorway signs and so adding to the traffic jams.

    A spokesperson also defended criticism we've received from several drivers about a lack of information on the approach to the incident, by saying warning signs were displayed in Cumbria, Blackpool and Manchester, and from the south as far as the M25, M1 and M40.

  6. Smart motorway questions over M6 delays

    Allen Cook

    BBC News

    Could the long time taken to reopen the M6 in Staffordshire today be partly down to the route being a smart motorway?

    Red crosses on M6 today

    The question's being asked by Dafydd who emailed in to ask if the lack of a hard shoulder had made it harder for organisations like Highways England to get to the scene.

    The lorry crash happened between J12 and J13 on the M6 which was converted into an all-lane-running smart motorway - meaning the hard shoulder can be used as a fourth lane - several years ago.

    Dafydd also wondered why the smart motorway technology, such as CCTV and managed speed limits, wasn't used to get traffic moving again quicker.

    Highways England responded by saying it did monitor congestion on its cameras and had traffic officers in the area to help with broken-down vehicles contributing to the congestion.

    A spokesperson said some motorists were also ignoring red X’s which had been posted on electronic boards above the motorway banning use of the traditional hard shoulder, which they said "added to the congestion".

  7. M6 queues either 'desperate' or 'therapeutic'

    Allen Cook

    BBC News

    Plenty of you getting in touch on the M6.

    Traffic on M6

    Trevor emailed earlier to say he'd been stuck on the motorway since 08:50 despite being just half a mile from J12 where he worked.

    By 14:19, the situation hadn't improved.

    "Meetings cancelled, laptop now flat, desperate for the toilet, hungry and dying for a drink," he said.

    Trevor, we feel your pain.

    While Rhianna got in touch to say she was finding the stationary M6 "very therapeutic and useful" as, by tomorrow afternoon she'll be on the way to Scotland for a five-day road trip.

    Where are you, how long's the wait been and where were you going? Email us here.

  8. M6 lanes to shut again from 22:00 for barrier repairs

    The reopened lanes on the M6 in Staffordshire are going to have to close again tonight, Highways England has told the BBC.

    The northbound lanes reopened after 15:30, following the southbound side just after 12:30.

    But Highways England says lanes on both carriageways will have to close again tonight from 22:00 for further repairs.

    These include installing a temporary central barrier while the concrete one is fixed.

  9. Trucker turnaround with M6 delays

    Allen Cook

    BBC News

    Lorry driver Shane Gilbert is among many who have complained about a lack of warning about the closure of the M6 today.

    He says he set off from Wiltshire at 04:15 on the way to Runcorn and, although there were signs, to him they lacked any information about the incident or how to avoid it.

    Congested traffic

    Still stuck in traffic at 15:16, Shane's now been told to turn around with a full trailer-load - although that will be when he can get moving again.

  10. Ambulances 'escorted through closed M6'

    It's not just car and lorry drivers who've been struggling to get moving on the M6 today in Staffordshire.

    While the northbound side between J12 and J13 hasn't reopened yet to motorists, Highways England says it has escorted seven ambulances through this afternoon and has been "been working really closely with the emergency services" throughout the day

  11. Northbound lanes 'to open in next 30 minutes'

    And hot off the press, Highways England says resurfacing work has been completed and three lanes should reopen in the next 30 minutes, in time for the afternoon commute - although under a reduced speed limit.

    Resurfacing work
    View more on twitter
  12. Workers trying to reopen northbound M6

    Highways England says it's aiming to get three lanes of the northbound M6 reopened "later this afternoon".

    It said it had workers "planing" off the top surface of the damaged carriageway at the moment.

    Highway repairs

    It said when the work was complete, traffic would be able to drive over it, but only at speeds up to 40mph and a full road-resurfacing would take place this evening.

  13. Flight missed and hours of delays for M6 drivers

    Allen Cook

    BBC News

    Drivers are continuing to face long delays on the M6 in the Staffordshire area following the motorway's complete closure earlier after a lorry crash.

    Lorries queuing northbound between J11 and J12

    Highways England replied to one person, who tweeted that they had been "sat here since 07:00" that the queuing traffic wasn't caught between J12 and J13 but the "sheer volume of traffic trying to get off" the motorway.

    Another Twitter user, @andrew_grainger, said he'd had to rebook a flight to Cyprus after being delayed on the M6.

    While @AnjumRafiq urged drivers to avoid the route today as "been here for three hours at J11".

  14. Your comments: Doctor can't get to hospital

    You've been getting in touch to tell us your views on the "M6 car park experience" (which sounds a pretty unenticing theme park pitch on Dragons' Den).

    Stuart Roberts wrote: "Myself like many other doctors on rotation commute from Birmingham to Stoke and will not be able to get to the hospital today. Our colleagues are holding the fort. I’ve just passed seven hours in traffic and am nearly at Junction 12."

    But still, he said spirits were good and added: "I’ve got water and found a stash of fruit pastilles. Trying to persuade a french lorry driver to donate some Brie to the cause with no success!"

    Motorway clean up

    It's not just the motorway that's struggling to cope. Richard Hancher said surrounding lanes had been left gridlocked.

    "My mother lives 2 miles from J12 and says it’s impossible to even get out of the house at the moment," he said.

    Paul Degg suggested: "The problem today would of been massively improved if there had been a couple of policemen working to regulate traffic on the exit slip road."

  15. Northbound M6 staying shut for some time yet

    Drivers on the northbound side of the M6 in Staffordshire are being warned the carriageway is going to stay shut for some time yet.

    Damaged central barrier of M6

    Highways England reopened three lanes southbound between J13 and J12 just after 12:30, having shut the entire stretch of motorway at about 00:30 after the crash.

    That's left the northbound side damaged and Highways England says all four lanes need to be resurfaced.

  16. Your comments: Why not spend more on roads instead of HS2?


    This morning's crash on the M6 has opened up a debate on the BBC Midlands Facebook page.

    With the HS2 high-speed rail line up to five years behind schedule and billions over original budget, Simon O'Neill asked: "Why don't they build a road instead of a railway?"

    Others had more immediate concerns and Valerie Wilson wrote: "With all tech we have, pity you can't let people in queue know what has happened, so they do not get upset about the wait."

    And James Maher suggested there were often problems with that stretch of motorway, writing: "Always the same junction and area - J12-J15."

  17. Story so far on M6 lorry crash

    Here's how events unfolded this morning:

    • A lorry hit the central reservation barrier between J12 and J13 at about 00:30
    • The driver only suffered minor injuries, the ambulance service added, and he's been taken to hospital as a precaution
    • The crash damaged the concrete barrier and caused fuel, radiator fluid and debris to be spread across both sides of the M6
    • Highways England reopened three lanes southbound at about 12:30, but said the northbound side would stay shut for longer for resurfacing work
    • Drivers have been diverted along the A449 and the A5, leading to long delays on roads around the M6
  18. Drivers complain of lack of M6 crash warnings

    Allen Cook

    BBC News

    Complaints that Highways England didn't give drivers enough of a warning about today's serious crash on the M6 in Staffordshire are being defended by the organisation.

    The overturned lorry

    James Silson emailed the BBC to say he started his journey in Cumbria at 07:00 but didn't see any signs about taking a detour until Knutsford, Cheshire, and said he had "moved less than three miles in three hours" since then.

    Twitter user @karlroberts75 said he had driven south from Manchester but hadn't seen any warnings until J16 which "doesn't leave much option for alternative route".

    But Highways England said it had set signs "as far as Cumbria, Blackpool including Manchester" and they advised drivers to avoid the area around the crash.

  19. Biscuit shortage and reading time for those stuck on M6

    Thanks to those stuck on the M6 today in Staffordshire who've been able safely to get in touch.

    Craig Mitchell amused us by saying being stationary on the motorway had "given me time to finally read the entire works of Shakespeare and JK Rowling" but "sadly not enough time to read my Apple T&C’s".

    While Meshak emailed to say he'd been stuck in the "M6 carpark experience" since 07:00, had run out of shortbread, drunk all the tea in his flask and was now trying to work out how to get a toilet break - although there was some relief thanks to "an empty Lucozade bottle which I found rolling underneath the passenger seat".

    If you can safely let us know how you are coping on the M6 this afternoon, use this link to email us.