Page last updated at 20:31 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 21:31 UK

Crash leads to Gatwick congestion

Traffic jam on M23 slip road to Gatwick
Road closures led to delays for people trying to reach Gatwick

A woman motorist has died in a collision involving a coach and a car at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex.

Emergency teams including the Sussex Air Ambulance were called to the North Terminal shortly after 1330 BST.

Police said the victim was a 34-year-old woman from South Wales. The coach driver was taken to hospital with shock while a passenger had a wrist injury.

Witnesses told of seeing people delayed by road closures walking with suitcases along the M23 and A23 to the terminal.

Severe tailbacks

Sussex Police said the woman's Ford Ka collided with the National Express coach which ended up on top of her vehicle at the North Terminal roundabout.

Passengers using the airport, which is the second busiest in the country, were advised to allow extra time for their journeys.

A Highways Agency spokesman said all roads including Airport Way were reopened by 2000 BST.

But he said it would be some time before the congestion was cleared with severe tailbacks still stretching as far back as the M25 and beyond.

He also said there were several abandoned cars in the roads approaching the airport.

Transit system

Following the accident, Sussex Police had said access to the North Terminal was not possible from junction nine of the M23.

There was also the warning of delays on roads around the airport, with the closure of a slip road on the A23.

People who needed to get to the North Terminal from the M23 were advised to go to the South Terminal and use the passenger transit system, an airport spokeswoman said.

She said Gatwick Airport's website and Twitter account were carrying regular updates on the situation.

Extra airport staff were also drafted in to help passengers who may have missed flights or were running late because of the traffic congestion.

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Bellshill Speaker Tributes paid to airport crash mother - 21 mins ago
Wales Online Coach crash victim's family remember beautiful mum - 4 hrs ago
West Sussex County Times Fatal crash creates traffic delays round Gatwick - 19 hrs ago

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