A MAJOR route through North Yorkshire is set to be closed until Thursday morning after a chemical tanker overturned.
Drivers are advised that closures are expected to remain in place in both directions on the A1(M) during the afternoon peak traffic period and until around 5am on Thursday (February 2) for complex recovery and specialist clean-up work.
The northbound carriageway is closed between junctions 40 for Darrington and 42 for Selby Fork, as is the southbound stretch between junctions 42 and 41 for Holmfields.
This follows a crash at around 7.40am today (February 1) near South Milford, when an HGV collided with the central reservation before coming to rest on its side across both carriageways.
Due to the nature of the incident, it is likely that the closure will be in place until 5am. National Highways traffic officers, West Yorkshire Police and fire and rescue services remain at the scene.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "The A1(M) at South Milford is expected to remain closed in both directions until around 5am on Thursday to allow for the safe recovery of the spillage and the vehicle.
"Please avoid the area and follow the diversions."
During the A1(M) closures drivers are advised to avoid the area if at all possible, allow extra time for their journeys, particularly with roadworks also taking place on the M1 and M62 near Lofthouse Interchange, and follow the clearly-signed diversions.
Southbound traffic is being directed from the A1(M) onto the M1 before continuing to travel southbound on the M1. Road users can exit the M1 at junction 42 (Lofthouse) on to the M62 eastbound and continue eastbound along the M62 before rejoining the A1(M). Drivers travelling northbound are advised to follow the same diversion, in reverse.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "Due to potential hazardous material leaking from the vehicle, motorists who are caught in traffic on the A1 are advised to stay in their vehicles and keep their windows closed while emergency services deal with the situation.
"Anyone planning to travel along this section of the A1 is advised to avoid the area and find alternative routes."
Station manager Bob Hoskins from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "There are major delays on the A1 as both carriageways are closed following an major crash near Ferrybridge.
"Emergency Services will remain at the scene to ensure safety whilst recovery takes place Please avoid the are as the road will remain closed for a considerable period of time."
Major delays on the A1 as both carriageways are closed following an major RTC near Ferrybridge
Emergency Services will remain at the scene to ensure safety whilst recovery takes place
Please avoid the are as the road will remain closed for a considerable period of time pic.twitter.com/dBvpxWgY8j
— Group Manager Bob Hoskins (@Golf_One4) February 1, 2023
There is congestion to routes through Brotherton, Darrington and Pontefract as traffic diverts.
A tanker overturned across the central reservation at around 7.40am this morning and trapped traffic is being turned around, with other vehicles are being diverted off early and pushed to the Ferrybridge interchange where it meets the M62.
The driver of the tanker was taken to hospital.
A substance from the lorry leaked on to the carriageway.