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Severe Delays on M20 and M25 Following Devastating Van Fire at Swanley Interchange

Motorists faced significant delays on the M20 and M25, particularly around the Swanley Interchange coast-bound, due to a severe van fire that occurred during Tuesday morning’s rush hour. The incident involved a Mercedes Sprinter van, which was completely destroyed by the fire, causing substantial damage to a number of lanes on the motorway.

The Highways Agency, Kent Police, and Kent Fire and Rescue were promptly at the scene to manage the emergency. Although the flames from the van were successfully extinguished, the fire’s aftermath left the road surface severely damaged. Diesel and oil spilled onto the carriageway during the blaze, exacerbating the situation and complicating clean-up efforts.

Burnt vehicle on road with emergency responders

The incident has resulted in approximately 45-minute delays, with the coast-bound section of the interchange remaining closed while Highways England and Kent Fire and Rescue work diligently to address the damage and ensure the road is safe for public use. The extensive damage to the road surface, caused by the intense heat of the fire and the corrosive nature of the spilled diesel and oil, poses a significant challenge to the emergency response teams.

Drivers have been strongly advised to seek alternative routes as the response teams tackle the aftermath of the blaze. The closure of such a critical junction, especially during rush hour, has had a ripple effect on traffic flow in the surrounding areas, leading to congestion and extended travel times for many commuters.

The Highways Agency has issued a statement urging motorists to exercise patience and follow the guidance of traffic management signs and diversions. They have also emphasized the importance of checking travel updates before embarking on journeys, especially while the clean-up and repair operations are ongoing.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, with early reports suggesting no immediate suspicion of foul play. However, the incident underscores the importance of vehicle maintenance and safety checks, particularly for commercial vehicles that are subjected to heavy use.

Updates on the reopening of the affected section of the motorway will be provided by the Highways Agency and Kent authorities as soon as they become available. In the meantime, the public is encouraged to stay informed through local news channels and social media for the latest travel advisories and updates.

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