All lanes reopened on M6 and M55 22 hours after lorry burst into flames

All lanes on the M6 southbound and M55 eastbound have reopened after an excrutiating 22 hours of massive queues and four-hour delays following a serious lorry fire.

By Wes Holmes
Saturday, 30th July 2022, 9:30 am

Traffic came to a standstill on the motorways surrounding Preston and Blackpool after the fire broke out between junctions 32 and 31 at 6.15am yesterday.

A full closure of the southbound carriageway was put in place, with the M55 also being shut eastbound between junction 1 (A6 Garstang Road, Fulwood) to M6 junction 32.

Drivers faced massive queues extending for 12 miles, and delays of up to four hours as Highways North West carried out the recovery of the burned-out vehicle and carried out repairs to the damaged road and barriers. Delays were also reported on the M6 northbound between junction 27 and junction 33.

Diversions were put in place as lanes were gradually reopened throughout the day, with Highways North West announcing late last night that delays on the M6 and M55 had eased, with just one of the four lanes remaining closed for barrier repairs and resurfacing work. Ongoing delays of 10 minutes were reported at that time.

The motorways finally reopened fully at 4.20am today (July 30), more than 22 hours after the fire broke out. A Highways spokesman said: “All lanes are now open on the M6 Southbound between M55 junction and Preston. Barrier repairs and resurfacing work, following the earlier lorry fire are complete. No delays remain on the approach.”

The lorry fire, picture by Highways North West
The recovery, picture by Highways North West