Firefighters tackle lorry blaze that closes M26 west-bound
Motorists have been facing long delays today because of a lorry fire that closed part of the M26 for almost seven hours.
Two fire engines and a water unit were called at around 5am after a lorry carrying fibreglass caught alight on the west-bound carriageway.
The motorway was closed between the M20 at J3 and the M25/A21 junction at Sevenoaks - sparking traffic chaos for commuters.
Traffic builds on the M20 towards London from Aylesford because of the M26 closure. Picture: Matthew Walker
Vehicles behind the lorry were being turned around and other drivers were advised to use the M20 and join the M25 at J3 for Swanley.
The Highways Agency said the fibreglass had to be removed from the vehicle before the carriageway could be safely re-opened to traffic.
One lane was re-opened at 10.30am for about an hour before being closed again to recover the lorry.
The motorway was fully re-opened by midday - but delays were expected to continue into the afternoon.
Delays on the M20 following a lorry fire on the M26. Picture: Highways Agency
Vehicles were taken off the motorway via the M20, with traffic trapped behind the lorry being turned around to exit at J2a.
A diversion was set up via the M20 J3 to the M25 J3 before heading clockwise to J5.
At the height of rush hour, congestion on the M20 was stretching back to J4 at the A228 (Leybourne/Snodland).
The lorry caught fire at 5.10am, with traffic stopped by emergency services a few minutes.
The carriageway was then closed by around 5.40am.
A Kent Police spokesman said the lorry was stationary on the hard shoulder and there were no reported injuries.
Traffic queues on the M20 following a lorry fire which closed the M26 west-bound. Picture: Highways Agency
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