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Brit motorway fires soar as summers dry up

THE number of fires on motorways has soared by almost a third in four years as our summers get drier.

The M5, M6, M2 and M23 have all been hit. 

Fire brigade data shows the daily rate of vehicle fire incidents was up 15% in June, July and August last year. 

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Lorry fires plus other roadside blazes and spillages can all lead to gridlock on the roads. 

Incidents have been caused by defective vehicles, soaring summer temperatures and rubbish on the roadside, according to the AA. 

AA president Edmund King said: “Eighteen fire and spillage disruptions a day on UK motorways and other strategic roads is astonishing, each with the potential to slow or hold up traffic for hours. 

“The Department for Transport’s decision to analyse commercial vehicle fires suggests there is a significant problem – certainly there is enough video of them online. The big fear is that one of these happens in a tunnel. 

“With summer motoring nearly upon us and the increased risk of vehicles overheating and tinder-dry roadsides, it is essential drivers ensure their vehicles are maintained and fit for long journeys in hot conditions. 

“They also need to be aware of the dangers they create by throwing cigarettes out of the car.” 

A Highways England spokesman said: “Safety is Highways England’s top priority and our roads are among the safest in the world.” 

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