M25 chaos continues after cooking oil spill closes motorway lanes for more than a day

20 April 2022, 23:18

Traffic on the M25 got stuck by a cooking oil spill
Traffic on the M25 got stuck by a cooking oil spill. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A cooking oil spill was still causing blocked lanes on the busy M25 more than a day after a collision that caused it.

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Social media has been rife with complaints about traffic jams as specialist teams deployed to clear up the spilt oil on the motorway.

Highways England showed a stretch between junctions 23 and 25, near Hatfield, were still shut on Wednesday night.

A crash on 11.16am on Tuesday saw a large amount of cooking oil spill on the eastbound carriageway.

Just two lanes had been opened 24 hours later as National Highways complained about how difficult vegetable oil is to clean up.

A traffic jam stretching miles was recorded by commuters on Tuesday – just as many workers were returning to the office after the Easter bank holiday. Some drivers said they were stuck for hours.

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Duncan Smith, National Highways executive director of operations, said on Wednesday: "I can confirm that two lanes have reopened on the clockwise M25 near Hatfield after a protracted clean-up operation of vegetable oil as a result of a collision yesterday.

"Vegetable oil is a very difficult substance to remove from the road surface.

"Anyone who has spilled it onto work surfaces or clothing at home will know just how problematic it can be, so clearing gallons of the substance from one of the busiest roads in the country is no easy task.

"We have had specialist teams working on the M25 overnight and they are continuing the clean-up operation to try and get the road fully open as soon as possible."

National Highways East said on Twitter that specialist equipment was arriving on Wednesday night to clean up the mess.

It said traffic was flowing freely despite three lanes on the carriageway being shut for the operation to take place.