A27 reopens after overnight resurfacing work caused by oil spill

SNARL-UP Traffic queues on the A27 and inset, workers clear up the oil spill.   Main picture: Malcolm Wells (113421-8414)
SNARL-UP Traffic queues on the A27 and inset, workers clear up the oil spill. Main picture: Malcolm Wells (113421-8414)
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A MAJOR road had to be resurfaced last night following an oil spillage which caused hours of traffic delays around Portsmouth.

The eastbound A27 reopened at 6am after the overnight work caused by an oil spill when an oil drum fell from a lorry and crashed into a Toyota Yaris on the eastbound A27 at 11am.

Police said no-one was injured in the incident which caused severe disruption on routes out of Portsmouth and tailbacks to junction nine for Whiteley on the M27.

Police closed the three-lane section of the A27 at the Eastern Road junction in Portsmouth while the oil, which spilled out between two slip roads, was being cleaned up by the Highways Agency.

Vehicles travelling on the A27 were diverted on to the Eastern Road roundabout to avoid the spillage – causing a backlog of traffic on all of Portsmouth’s exit routes, including the M275.

The middle and inside lanes of the affected A27 section were reopened at 5pm to try to combat the rush-hour chaos, but were closed again from 10pm so the road could be relaid overnight.

A Portsmouth Traffic Watch operator said: ‘It was bedlam – especially when it was coming up to rush hour. But fortunately they were able to open up two of the lanes about 5pm and get everything moving to clear the traffic which was stretched all the way to junction nine on the M27.’

The first lane on the A27, where most of the oil was spilt, remained closed from 11am and movement was slow as vehicles crawled out of Portsmouth yesterday evening.

Traffic snaked back more than a mile into the city between 4pm and 6pm and was particularly heavy on the London Road and Eastern Road routes out of Portsmouth.

It came just days after a series of accidents caused similar disruption on the M27 last Thursday.

Joe Croft, 34, who lives near Fareham, spent 40 minutes in traffic leaving Portsmouth last night.

He said: ‘It took a lot longer than usual to get home from work. It was just bumper to bumper for a while but then it got moving again.

‘It sounded like it was even worse earlier on in the day.’

The stretch of the A27 was closed to traffic last night as Highways Agency workers resurfaced a 330ft section of the inside lane.

A spokesman said: ‘When diesel is spilt on the road surface it soaks in causing the Tarmac to soften up and rut, so we are stripping the top layer of the road surface off and replacing it.’