Birmingham & Black Country

Fatal crash shuts M6 in Birmingham causing long delays

The scene Image copyright Pete Saull
Image caption Drivers have faced long delays because of the crash

Part of the M6 in Birmingham was closed for almost 24 hours after a fatal collision involving a lorry and a car.

The northbound carriageway was closed at 02:00 on Thursday at junctions five, Castle Bromwich and six, Spaghetti Junction and was not reopened until about 01:30 GMT on Friday.

A 26-year-old man driving a Saab died at the scene.

A 200m-length section across four lanes had to be resurfaced after a fuel spillage, Highways England said.

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A Highways England spokesman said earlier: "You've got about a 200m stretch - so that's 800m across all four lanes.

"Fuel has leaked on to the carriageway and it's really got into the carriageway, so that's the problem and it's just not safe to reopen."

Traffic jams trailed back to junction four for the M42.

Drivers were stuck for hours in congestion on the M42 north from junctions six to nine and on the A446 around Coleshill.

Many of the main routes into Birmingham slowed to a crawl as people tried to find alternative routes.

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Media captionDrivers on the M6 have been expressing their thoughts on being stuck
Image copyright CMPG
Image caption Central Motorways Policing group tweeted to warn motorists off the M6
Image copyright Pete Saull
Image caption Police confirmed a man died in the collision

Two southbound lanes between junctions six and five, that were closed at about 03:00, reopened about six hours later.

Two lanes closed on the northbound carriageway of the M6 at junction 3A near Coleshill after a separate traffic collision at 12:30 reopened by 13:00, said Highways England.

Image copyright West Midlands Ambulance Service
Image caption Two women in their 30s were not seriously injured in a crash between junction 3A and 4 of the M6

Drivers expressed their anger on social media at being caught in the congestion in and around Birmingham during Thursday's rush hour.

Paul Davis tweeted at 10:00 he had only managed to drive six miles after leaving from Sutton Coldfield at 07:00.

Earlier Virgin Trains said it had advised its ticket managers at Birmingham International to use discretion towards commuters in light of the disruption.

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Media captionCongestion built up on the city's routes all morning

Police had hoped to reopen the northbound lanes at about 07:30 on Thursday, but Highways England said extensive damage had been caused and assessment and repair work was being carried out.

Diversions were put in place but motorists were caught up in long delays on surrounding routes, particularly on the A38.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the lorry driver in the collision was shaken but uninjured.

Image caption Both carriageways were affected by the collision
Image copyright Highways Agency
Image caption The Highways Agency released a map of affected routes as of about 10:00 GMT

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