DRIVERS faced more problems on the M62 this morning, the day after a 20-mile stretch of the road between Manchester and Leeds was reduced to a standstill when a lorry carrying butter crashed through the central reservation.
The motorway was closed for most of the day westbound between junction 21 at Milnrow, near Rochdale, and junction 24 at Huddersfield, with only one lane in operation in the opposite direction.
At 8.15am an HGV travelling eastbound crashed through the central reservation and into vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. The lorry driver was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition.
The road was initially closed between Junctions 21 and 22 but in the afternoon the closure was extended to Junction 24 “due to severe congestion”.
Highways officials said a cargo of butter in one of the vehicles in the crash had turned to grease and affected the road surface.
By 5pm most of the grease had been cleared from the carriageway but the road did not re-open fully until later in the night.
This morning (Tuesday) saw further, unrelated problems, with nine-mile queues eastbound after junction 26 at Bradford, caused by a broken-down vehicle.
On Monday, John Patrick, a 67-year-old model railway salesman from Pontefract, was left in standing traffic for hours after setting off to meet a friend in Manchester this morning.
He told The Yorkshire Post that he hit traffic at around 10.30am and by 2pm had moved only a mile-and-a-half along the westbound carriageway.
He said: “There are people using the hard shoulder, they are not service vehicles either. It is absolutely boiling hot here, it is red hot.
“I suspect the police are trying to help at the other end but there is no-one around here to help at all.
“It is so stressful, there are hundreds of people trapped here all waiting patiently in their cars and other people are driving on the hard shoulder. There is a notice saying drivers should not use the hard shoulder.
“The big problem is that once you get onto this section of the M62 there are no turn offs at all. They need to get some emergency turn-offs so people can get off - if a woman was having a baby they would have to get a helicopter.
“I am not dehydrated yet but in another hour or two I might be, it is cloudy but very hot. No-one has offered us any help at all, we are just stranded here.”