Two days of traffic misery on Purley Way

Following the chaos caused by Thursday’s tyre factory fire, motorists in Croydon faced a second day of disruption on Friday (September 23) due to a huge oil spillage on the A23.

Firefighters were called to the scene at around 12.30am, where they found a large amount of petrol across all four lanes of Purley Way and alerted the police, who are investigating whether the spill was deliberate.

Three empty barrels were later found in nearby Ridgeway

Crew Manager Dean Barnes said: “We believe this was a malicious act as the barrels and other items had clearly been dumped.”

A spokesman from London Fire Brigade said a crew from Croydon was at the scene until 4.15am. He said: “There was 200 litres of used engine oil – petrol – spilling onto roadways in both directions. There were three barrels spilling out onto approximately 1,000 metres of roadway.”

On Friday  morning a Tfl spokesperson advised commuters to find alternative routes, saying: “We are working with [the emergency services] to reopen the roads as soon as possible, although that part of the A23 Purley Way will require resurfacing.”

The A23 was finally reopened on Friday evening.

This follows Thursday’s disruption in the area after a major fire at a tyre-shredding factory that contained gas canisters, prompting fears of a gas explosion. Firefighters fought to control the blaze for over 24 hours.

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