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Red Cross helps stranded motorists in M1 gridlock

11 June 2009

Motorists stuck on the M1Matt Smith (BRC)British Red Cross volunteers helped hundreds of stricken motorists yesterday after the M1 came to a standstill in Hertfordshire. A man who threatened to jump off the gantry and onto the motorway between junctions six and seven near Hemel Hempstead caused tailbacks for six hours.

The Red Cross was called out by the Highways Agency to help motorists stuck in their cars. Fifteen Red Cross volunteers and staff travelled down the hard shoulder in trucks and handed out bottles of water, baby food, cups of tea and coffee, and snacks to around 500 people. Tesco donated 300 bottles of water.

Stranded motorists

Red Cross volunteer talks to stranded motoristsMatt Smith (BRC)Red Cross volunteers and staff came from Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and London.

Jonathan Edmondson, British Red Cross operations manager for London, said:“The motorway was at a complete standstill when we arrived. A lot of people were standing outside their cars not knowing what to do. It was a warm day and people had gone out not thinking they were going to be long so had not taken drinks with them."

Giving out essentials

Red Cross staff on the M1Matt Smith (BRC)He continued: "Red Cross volunteers and staff were on hand to give out bottles of water, snacks and in some cases baby food to make their wait as comfortable as possible. As some of them had been waiting for three or four hours, they were very grateful to see us."

The Red Cross was stood down at 5:30pm.

The British Red Cross and Tesco launched a unique partnership in January to provide support for the Red Cross’ emergency response at a local, national and global level.

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