A three-car collision closes the motorway in Bedfordshire in the early hours of Saturday, as high winds, snow and ice are forecast for the expected Storm Conor approaching Scotland. The closing of the motorway threatens to create long delays for Christmas travellers.
After the three-car collision on M1, two people were severely injured and currently fighting for their lives, and several others were also injured.
After the accident, the northbound and southbound carriageways were closed between junctions 13 (Bedford) and 12 (Flitwick) after the accident, which took place just after 2.30am.
A Bedfordshire police spokeswoman said: “Several people were injured and have been taken to hospital for treatment. Two people are thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries while a number of others are being treated for less serious injuries.”
Highways England said the closure was affecting traffic that was heading to Luton airport and London. The northbound carriageway was reopened at approximately 8.20am, and authorities were opening one lane in the southbound carriage way as the toe trucks removed the crashed vehicles from the scene.
The accident has come along side an already-expected disruption to travel and power supplies, since Storm Conor is expected to approach the area.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said that engineers had restored electricity to over 21,000 homes in North Scotland as of 9am Saturday after Storm Barbara- which brought wind speeds up to 80mph.
Dean Hall, a Met Office forecaster, said: “There will still be strong winds associated with Storm Barbara affecting the north of Scotland into Saturday morning. For Christmas Eve there is a north/south split across the UK. We still have very gusty, squally conditions across much of Scotland and the north of England and Northern Ireland with further showers, some heavy at times and turning wintry over higher ground.”
“Through the day the next weather system is coming in which is the start of Storm Conor, that’s going to bring more persistent rain in Northern Ireland, western Scotland and north-west England. That will herald the arrival of Storm Conor through Christmas Day but the main impact will not be realised until Boxing Day. On Christmas Eve, England and Wales will get away with a much drier and brighter day.”