Road remains shut as clear up operation goes on to remove 'lard-like' substance spilled by truck

The road has been closed off since the collision last Thursday.
The road has been closed off since the collision last Thursday.

A key route remains shut as work goes on to remove a fatty substance which spilled onto a road from a truck.

Work to clear a major spill to allow the eastbound carriageway of the A1231 to reopen between the Mill House roundabout and the A182 Washington Highway has continued today.

The road has been closed eastbound since last Thursday as the result of the spillage along a half mile section of the A1231 of around two tonnes of a non-hazardous by product of the leather tanning process.

The substance was left on the road following a collision between the truck and a car.

Sunderland City Council has said due to the nature and quantity of the material involved and the extent and complexity of the recovery operation, the company which owns the HGV which spilled its load brought in a specialist company to carry out the clean-up operation.

The company is covering the cost of the clear up, with the council helping by ensuring the workers can carry out their task safely.

Work to remove the fatty deposits, which have been described as having a 'lard-like' consistency, continued throughout the weekend but the surface remains slippery.

Councillor Amy Wilson, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “This is a critical link in our network so we are continuing to work on a solution that will allow us to reopen the road safely as soon as is possible.

“But the substance that was spilled is a by-product of the leather tanning process, which is primarily made up of the fatty waste of rendered cattle and is proving extremely difficult to remove.

“Despite extensive work over the weekend and some progress being made, the road remains slippery and isn’t safe to drive on.

“Work has continued today with the aim of getting to a position where skid resistance tests can be carried out on the cleaned surface tomorrow morning to establish if the road is safe to reopen.

“We completely understand the inconvenience for all those who use the road on a daily basis but public safety has to be paramount and we can’t allow it to reopen until we are satisfied that it is safe to do so.”