Lorry fire closes M6 motorway in Cheshire

Lorry fire Image copyright Highways England
Image caption The lorry fire was reported at the junction 20 slip road at about 07:05 GMT

A lorry fire sent plumes of smoke across the M6 in Cheshire and led to the rush-hour closure of the northbound carriageway.

Three lanes from junction 20, Lymm Interchange, to junction 21, for Warrington and Irlam, were shut while firefighters tackled the blaze.

It happened on the slip road at junction 20 shortly before 07:05 GMT.

While police reopened three lanes by about 11:00, drivers were still told to avoid the area because of the backlog.

Highways England said it would carry out emergency resurfacing and the lorry would be removed from the area, with work expected to last several hours.

Lane one of the main northbound carriageway is closed, along with the entry slip road on to the northbound carriageway at junction 20.

Image copyright Cheshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption All three lanes from junction 20 to junction 21 for Warrington were closed during the morning rush

A section of safety barrier and a lamp post have been damaged in the fire and will need to be made safe, Highways England added.

Nobody is believed to have been injured in the fire.

At about 11:10, NWMP tweeted: "Management of the scene at #M6 HGV Fire has been handed over to @HighwaysNWEST. Thank you for your patience during this incident."

The M56 exit slip road to the M6 northbound was closed, which caused queuing traffic.

As of 12:00, there were still long delays and slow traffic on M6 northbound between junctions 20 and 21.

Earlier, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was "causing lots of smoke across the motorway".

Image copyright Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Firefighters said the fire was sending lots of smoke across the motorway
Image copyright Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Lanes began reopening from 9:10 GMT

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