A MILK lorry overturned on a busy Sussex commuter route causing severe delays.

It crashed on the A24 Worthing Road at Dial Post at around midnight.

The driver was uninjured, a spokesman for Sussex Police said.

The road has been closed in both directions due to the accident and a fuel spillage between A272 (Buckbarn Crossroads) and A283 The Pike.

There has been difficulty with the recovery of the lorry and there is more than one and a half mile of diesel on the road which is delaying the reopening of the road.

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: "A refrigeration trailer became detached from an articulated lorry heading north, just past the Dial Post junction, overnight Sunday/Monday.

"The container overturned on the central reservation and partially across a lane.

"During the accident, the lorry’s fuel tank was damaged and the vehicle continued for about half-a-mile, leaking diesel, and then back on the southbound carriageway, leaking a continuous spill 0.9miles, before stopping at the Dial Post junction.

"There was also diesel across the north and south carriageway at both points where the lorry turned around. 

"We will have to resurface a total of 3,000 square metres of the north and southbound carriageways.

"We had hoped to re-open the road in time for the start of rush-hour traffic but this has not been possible due to the nature of the vehicle recovery involved.

"We cannot be specific, but we are aiming to re-open the road as soon as possible tonight – the southbound will be first, with the northbound following sometime after that.

"Meanwhile, we would ask road users to please avoid the area.

"We realise this has caused a major disruption for road users and would like to thank them for their patience and understanding.”