The M6 has been totally shut following a crash involving a tanker between junction 41 and junction 42 near Carlisle.
The crash took place on the northbound carriageway just after midday today (April 28) and saw the tanker cross the central reservation. The southbound carriageway had also been closed to assist.
The incident involved an empty waste tanker that collided with the central reservation barrier before crossing over into lane three of the southbound carriageway. Around 20 metres of safety barrier is said to be damaged.
Diversion routes for both carriageways are now in place after traffic was held throughout the afternoon and motorists who were held in the tailbacks were asked to stay in their vehicles and not go onto the hard shoulder in case of accessing emergency services. A Cumbria Police investigation is underway.
The incident caused long delays with queueing traffic reported on the A6 between Penrith and Carlisle held. North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) confirmed that one patient was taken to hospital via air ambulance for treatment via air ambulance.
A National Highways spokesperson said drivers planning to travel through Cumbria this afternoon “are being advised the northbound M6 is likely to remain closed north of Penrith for several hours following a serious collision shortly before noon today”.
They added: “The incident involved an empty waste tanker travelling northbound between junction 41 and junction 42 of the motorway. The tanker collided with the central reservation barrier before crossing over into lane three of the southbound carriageway – damaging about 20 metres of safety barrier and closing both carriageways.
“A Cumbria Police investigation into the incident is under way. National Highways is working to re-open the southbound carriageway as soon as possible with a lane three closure remaining in place for emergency barrier repairs. However, the northbound carriageway is likley to remain closed into this evening’s peak travel period while the police investigation continues and arrangements are made to remove the tanker from the motorway and to carry out any barrier and carriageway repairs.”