Shropshire Star

A day of major disruption on the M54 following lorry blaze

Drivers faced major disruption after one of the county's busiest roads was closed for hours following a lorry fire which damaged the carriageway.

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The lorry on fire (Photo: X/Dragoshi).

The emergency services had been scrambled to respond to the blaze, between Junction 3 and 4 of the M54, during the rush hour at around 8.30am on Tuesday.

Three fire crews tackled the incident, on the westbound stretch between Cosford and Shifnal, with the road closed between the two junctions and a diversion put in place.

However, there was misery for drivers who had been stuck on the stretch when the road was closed, with scores of motorists waiting for around four hours – later released when one lane was reopened to clear the road.

Others faced lengthy delays on a diversion route, which was set to remain in place until Tuesday evening.

National Highways said the lorry was "severely damaged" and its almost full tank of diesel had ruptured, spilling across both lanes, damaging the surface and making it unsafe to drive on.

Firefighters dealing with the incident on the M54. Picture: National Highways.

The organisation's emergency response teams treated the carriageway using absorbent granules and a high pressure cleaning method called hydro-blasting.

But, a spokesman for National Highways confirmed that the road would remain closed into the evening to allow for repairs.

He said: "The whole carriageway is so badly damaged it needs to be resurfaced to ensure it is safe for drivers to use.

"The carriageway will remain closed for the rest of the day and into the evening until this is completed."

The organisation then issued a warning to drivers to plan ahead – particularly football fans travelling to Shrewsbury Town clash with Brighton and Hove Albion's Under 21s in the EFL Trophy.

Firefighters dealing with the incident on the M54. Picture: National Highways.

A number of drivers – stuck from around 8.30am until 12.45pm, had voiced their frustration at the situation.

Speaking while waiting for the road to re-open one motorist said: "It has been more than three hours. Drivers are congregating along the western carriageway in small groups. There is little sign of movement at the scene. We can see the flashing lights of the emergency services but there has been no communication with the hundreds of motorists queuing. The hard shoulder has become very busy as both men and women have taken to relieving themselves."

Truck driver Peter Gavey on his way to Shrewsbury said: "I've pretty much written today off. I was due to drop off at 9am. This is the longest I've been stuck on the 54. Not sure why it is taking them this long."