£7800 cost of clean-up after lorry sheds nails on A500 – Stoke Sentinel

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Highways England has revealed a road closure sparked by thousands of nails on the A500 cost ?7,800 to clean up. The incident happened last month when a lorry shed its load on the northbound carriageway, forcing the closure of the road for 13 hours. A number of drivers suffered punctures – and one ended up with almost 200 nails in his tyres.

Now a Freedom of Information request by a member of the public has shown ?7,849.31 was spent on the whole clean-up operation, with ?140 spent on two magnets and ?3,765.36 on traffic management. Highways England said it was initially thought the nails were scattered between Etruria and Porthill when the incident happened at 2am on June 13. But the full extent didn’t become apparent until daylight.

It emerged the nails were scattered across a 5km stretch from Etruria to Tunstall, with crews turning to magnetic sweepers to get the nails up. Barry Proctor, owner of Barry Proctor Haulage Services, said their truck drivers and office staff are thought to have been affected.
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He said: “It would have affected the whole of Stoke-on-Trent. If it was an insecure load, the firm concerned would be prosecuted for having an insecure load – whatever comes off a vehicle, no matter what it is, classes it as an insecure load. “It would be very unusual that something like that could happen.

If it did, there would be consequences with the traffic commissioner. He would take a very dim view of that. “It seems like a long time for the A500 to be closed after the initial reports.

But if the nails were scattered over a 5km stretch, due to the nature of it, there wouldn’t be a specially made machine to get them up. I can understand why it took that long. “You could sweep and sweep and sweep and not get them all up.

They needed to take time to get it right, otherwise it would have meant more nails in tyres and that would be very expensive for motorists. “I thought the cost would have been a lot more than that. I’m glad they managed to do it at such a reasonable price, especially with the manpower it would have taken.”

Read more: Stoke-on-Trent imam to go on trial accused of glorifying Islamic State at city mosque[3] Highways England paid for the clean-up operation, but was not responsible for compensating affected motorists. Its asset manager, Victoria Lazenby, said: “We wouldn’t take responsibility or accept liability for the incident as it was either the result of malicious intent, an insecure load or a poorly maintained vehicle.

“Liability for any damage caused lies with those who dropped the nails, or allowed them to be dropped from their vehicle, in the first place.

It would not be appropriate to use public funds to compensate when damage is caused by a third party.”

Timeline of how the incident unfolded:

  • 02:14: Highways England Regional Control Centre informed of incident by Staffordshire Police
  • 02:40: Kier Highways on scene
  • 03:01: Staffordshire Police close the A500
  • 04:58: Kier Highways road sweeper on scene
  • 12:57: Highways England purchase two magnetic sweepers
  • 16:04: Confirmation of full re-opening


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  1. RT @truckerworld: £7800 cost of clean-up after lorry sheds nails on A500 – Stoke Sentinel https://t.co/10tWeNj6GU #road #freight #cargo

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