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M11 southbound 'unlikely to be open before 8am tomorrow'

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Drivers are being warned that the M11 is unlikely to reopen fully until at least 8am tomorrow (Thursday, July 15) following a lorry inferno.

Essex Police is working to turn around motorists trapped on the motorway following the ferocious fire tonight (Wednesday, July 14) near Quendon.

A spokesman said at 7.57pm: "We'd like to thank those who are in stationary traffic on the M11 for their patience.

Rob Green captures the fire at its height before emergency services brought it under control (49225278)
Rob Green captures the fire at its height before emergency services brought it under control (49225278)

"Officers are working to turn around cars already on the motorway where possible.

"Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the earlier lorry fire and our colleagues in Essex County Fire and Rescue have now got the fire under control.

"We have been advised that it is unlikely that the northbound carriageway will re-open before midnight.

M11 incident (49225091)
M11 incident (49225091)

"The southbound carriageway will need additional work from our colleagues in Highways England and is unlikely to be open before 8am tomorrow.

If you are looking to travel on the northbound carriageway later this evening or the southbound carriageway early tomorrow morning, please seek alternative routes."

The lorry turned into a fireball just before 5pm, bringing traffic to a halt on the southbound carriageway.

Essex Police closed the motorway in both directions between Junction 10 at Duxford and Junction 8 at Stansted Airport "due to the contents of the trailer" and there was speculation that the lorry was carrying aerosol cans.

M11 incident (49225087)
M11 incident (49225087)

The 40-mile diversion for southbound drivers is to exit the M11 at Junction 10 onto the A505 and continue to the A505/A10 roundabout at Royston. Then take the first exit onto the A10 south and continue through Reed, Buckland, Chipping, Buntingford, Colliers End, High Cross, Thundridge and Ware to the A10/A414 West Roundabout. From there they can take the first exit onto the A414 to Harlow and rejoin the M11 southbound at Junction 7.

Northbound traffic is being told to exit at Junction 8 and take the second exit from the roundabout A120 to Little Hadham before continuing on the A120 through Little Hadham and Standon to A120/A10 roundabout. From there, drivers must take the third exit and continue on the A10 through Buntingford, Chipping, Buckland and Reed to the A10/A505 roundabout at Royston before taking the third exit and continuing on the A505 to rejoin the M11 northbound at Junction 10.

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