Traffic gridlock in Derby after M1 accident - with video
TRAFFIC chaos following a serious three-vehicle accident on the M1 left Derby and the surrounding area gridlocked for several hours.
Queues of up to two hours were reported on the northbound carriageway of the motorway, while drivers in the city became stuck due to diversions off the M1 at junction 25.
The accident happened just before noon yesterday and involved two lorries and a car, police said.
One of the lorry drivers was taken to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre with serious injuries and he remained in a serious condition last night. The other two drivers suffered minor injuries.
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The northbound carriageway was closed all afternoon and into the early evening rush-hour, while the damaged vehicles, including one lorry that had become stuck on the central reservation, were recovered.
The diversions led to many roads into the city, including the A52 and the A38, becoming choked with traffic.
Judith Allen lives on Duffield Road with her husband, Max. The couple have a shop in Spondon. They were supposed to be travelling down to Essex last night but Max was trapped in the traffic chaos.
Mrs Allen said: "It took Max an hour to get from Spondon to the Wyvern Centre turn-off on the A52. It was ludicrous.
"I know there was an accident on the motorway but the police just diverted everyone off with no thought as to how this would affect all the other routes in the city."
At the height of the disruption, at 5pm, northbound motorway traffic approaching junction 25, at Long Eaton, was delayed by two hours with queues stretching back six miles, the Highways Agency said. And at the same time there were 60-minute delays for southbound traffic between junction 26, at Nuthall, and junction 25.
The Highways Agency set up an "up and over" diversion for northbound traffic where vehicles left the motorway on the slip road and rejoined using the entry slip road on the other side of the junction.
By 5pm, the southbound lanes of the M1 were open again and, by 7.45pm, the northbound side was fully reopened and traffic finally began to clear.
Firefighters from several Derbyshire stations, along with the county's air ambulance, attended the incident.
Derby Telegraph reporter Chris Jones set off from Burton at 5pm, heading for Derby. He said: "The A38 grew steadily busier as I approached the city.
"I thought I would leave at Mickleover but by the time I reached Burton Road, it was just as bad. It then took me nearly 90 minutes to reach the Telegraph. In Abbey Street and Mercian Way drivers were turning off their engines."