Sunday, 14 September 2014

Chaos on the M67 as drivers turn round and go the WRONG WAY up slip road to escape massive tailback caused by three-car pile-up . . .


Chaos on the M67 as drivers turn round and go the WRONG WAY up slip road to escape massive tailback caused by three-car pile-up 

  • Dozens of motorists turn around on motorway and drive up slip road after smash blocked M67 for hours
  • Police warn of dangers of driving the wrong way, but people caught up in the chaos say it was just 'common sense'
  • AA 'understand drivers' frustrations' but does not condone their actions

Frustrated drivers have been slammed by the police for risking lives when they turned around on a motorway and drove the wrong way up a slip road to avoid lengthy tailbacks. 

Motorists were caught on camera spinning their vehicles around and exiting the M67 via the entry slip road after a three-car smash near junction 2, not far from Denton, Greater Manchester.

But drivers who turned around said their actions were pure 'common sense', while those who could not said they were jealous.

Turning back: Drivers drive the wrong way up the M67 motorway slip road after a crash

Police officers, firefighters and paramedics helped rescue motorists involved in the crash

People looked on in amazement from a footbridge as cars began to turn around and drive up the slip road

Property investor Mike Stenhouse was one of the last cars to escape the wrong way up the slip road before police intervened.

He said: 'We were one of the last people to get off that way. Luckily we were right by the slip road when the traffic stopped.

'God, it saved us a lot of time. People who were less lucky were stuck there for hours. 

'We were very relieved. It was a pack mentality but it got us out.'

Martin McDonnell was driving along the M67 with his brother at the time of the crash and was less lucky.

He said: 'I wouldn't have minded that at all. It would've been very nice to have got out of there early. I don't blame them.'

Peter Belsten witnessed the chaotic scenes from a footbridge and told the Manchester Evening News: 'Once one started, they all turned around in the motorway and headed up the on ramp.

'It was bizarre, complete mayhem, loads of bumps and irate drivers.'

A pedestrian could also be seen walking up the on ramp at Junction 1A as cars and vans weaved around the gridlocked traffic. 

Traffic officers eventually brought the free-for-all to an end by blocking the slip road. 

Martin McDonnell was among hundreds of drivers stuck in the tailbacks for more than two hours

Three cars were involved in the crash near junction 2, not far from Denton, Greater Manchester

Luckily nobody was seriously injured in the crash, but the tailbacks caused chaos for commuters

Paul Watters, head of public affairs at the AA, said he could 'see the thought process' of the drivers who turned around, but drivers should wait for instruction from the police.

He said: 'I have sympathy with the drivers. You can understand the frustrations of people stuck in these situations. They probably thought they were doing the right thing.

'I can see their thought process, but I cannot encourage people to turn around on the motorway.

'There could have been a motorbike zipping down the slip road, or another emergency vehicle trying to attend the crash.

'What the police don't need in these incidents is chaos upon chaos, so the right thing to do is wait for instruction from them.'

The Highways Agency condemned the drivers' actions and said nobody should ever drive in the wrong direction unless directed to do so.

The offence is punishable by three penalty points and a fine.

A spokesman said: 'I appreciate that when there is an accident people want to try to get to where they are going, but it doesn't help anybody if people take it upon themselves to turn around and drive the wrong way up a motorway.

'We do have a system of releasing traffic if it has been there for a while, where vehicles will be properly directed and it is done in a safe and controlled manner, whereas people turning round of their own accord and not under direction probably isn't.

'If somebody turns and drives the wrong way down the road and has a secondary accident that means we then have to deal with that too and the road is closed for longer for everybody else.'

Nobody was seriously injured in the crash. 

Paul Watters, from the AA, said he 'understood the thought process' of drivers who turned around after the crash, but said he would not encourage doing it himself

Turning around on the motorway can earn drivers three points on their licence and a fine

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