Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Major north Wales road to close 'for days' after crash

The scene after the crash on the A5 at Chirk, near Wrexham
North Wales Police said the driver of one of the lorries and the car were declared dead at the scene. Photo: Vic Cleveley

A major road in north Wales will remain closed for "at least two to three days" after a crash between two lorries and a car killed two people, police say.

The A5 at Chirk, Wrexham, was closed in both directions at 1620 GMT on Monday after the crash on a viaduct killed the drivers of a cattle lorry and the car.

West Mercia Police said the road, on the border with Shropshire, will remain shut for structural engineering works.

It has caused gridlock in Chirk as traffic is diverted through the town.

People living locally have said congestion due to the road closure was "horrendous" with a typical 10 minute journey is taking over 40 minutes.

The crash involved a double decker Volvo livestock carrier, a Volvo tanker lorry and a silver Mercedes E200 estate car.

It is understood that during the incident, the cattle lorry overturned and crashed through the safety barrier, causing structural damage to the road viaduct at Afon Ceiriog.

Police said a number of the animals being transported had also been killed.

The driver of the tanker was treated for a minor head injury.

The A5 is a main route from Holyhead to London and police said they were working to re-open it as soon as possible.

The scene after the crash on the A5 at Chirk, near Wrexham
It is understood the road will be closed after the collision caused structural damage to the road viaduct. Photo: Vic Cleveley

"The A5 over the viaduct is expected to remain closed for at least two to three days. This is for safety reasons while repairs to the bridge barriers are carried out," a spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said.

"All the agencies involved are working together to get the road open as quickly as possible but this cannot take place until it is safe.

"Diversions have been put in place while the road is closed and we would urge drivers to find an alternative route if possible.

"Work is continuing to remove the vehicles from the carriageway."

The diversions have caused traffic problems in Chirk town centre, with five mile tailbacks reported.

There's lorries, cars, buses, tractors. I even passed a wide load coming in this morning
Shop worker in Chirk

Cliff Davenport, the owner of Cliff's Pigeons and Pet Supplies in Colliery Road, said the situation was "ridiculous".

"I'm off the main road and set back a little bit but there's traffic going past I haven't seen for years - cars, vans, lorries, everything," he said.

"A customer's just been in who had been stuck in traffic for 40 minutes. He was in it for five miles.

A worker at the Dapol Model Shop, which is outside the town centre, said: "The traffic going through is really horrendously busy. There's lorries, cars, buses, tractors. I even passed a wide load coming in this morning.

"Normally it takes me 10 minutes to get to work but it took me 40 minutes this morning and that was at 7.40am. It must be awful now.

"It's the second time in a month there's been a crash on the same stretch of that road."

Mr Davenport also said he was aware of "four or five crashes" on the stretch of the A5 in the past year - and blamed speeding drivers for making the road "horrendous".

"It's awful there - I don't go on it. There are lots of accidents because you have a fast lane to overtake the wagons and then it suddenly merges into one lane. They think it's a dual carriageway.

"They should have made the road bigger to start with as it's a major road. Something needs to be done to slow these drivers down - something like speed cameras."



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22 Mar 10 |  North East Wales

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