Delays as lorry overturns on A12

FRUSTRATED motorists faced hours of delays after a lorry jack-knifed on the A12 yesterday morning, causing lengthy tailbacks and the closure of one of the regions' busiest roads.

FRUSTRATED motorists faced hours of delays after a lorry jack-knifed on the A12 yesterday morning, causing lengthy tailbacks and the closure of one of the regions' busiest roads.

The exact cause of the crash was still being investigated last night but it is thought ruts in the surface of the dual carriageway could have contributed to it.

A heavy goods transporter, travelling towards Ipswich at around 7am, lost control, jack-knifing across both lanes and into the central reservation, close to the A133 junction near Stanway, Colchester.

As the trailer overturned it spilled its load of transit vans on to the road, leaving one hanging precariously above the vehicle's cab.


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Emergency services dealing with the wreckage had to shut the southbound carriageway and the outside lane of the A12 northbound, causing tailbacks of more than five miles by 9am.

Traffic was reported to be backed-up as far as the A120 at Braintree as late as 1.30pm.

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One eyewitness said: “The traffic was nose to tail for miles, as far as the eye could see.

“But despite the delays drivers were really very patient.”

Diversions brought many streets in Colchester to a grinding halt and made hundreds of people late for work and school.

Special arrangements had to be made for students due to take A-level exams in Colchester and passengers due to travel from Harwich seaport as traffic delayed arrival times.

A specialist recovery team from the Highways Agency spent nearly five hours clearing up the scene, in which no other vehicles were involved, finally reopening the A12 by midday.

A Stanway traffic police spokesman said: “We believed ruts in the road surface played a part in the accident, causing the lorry to sway and lose control.”

A spokeswoman for The Highways Agency said she could not comment yet on that possibility.

She said: “The route manager hasn't received a report from the police so he is not willing to make a comment.

“He is not aware of any problems on that stretch of the road.”

The driver, a 33-year-old man from Dagenham who has not been named, was treated at the scene for minor injuries but was not badly hurt.

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