Drivers were caught in tailbacks of up to 10 miles after a tanker blaze on the M62.
Emergency crews were sent to tackle the blaze on the Westbound carriageway between Junction 22 at Rishworth Moor and Junction 21 for Milnrow.
Both carriageways were closed while the blaze was put out but the Westbound side remained shut.
As queues built up people got out of their cars and chatted on the motorway on one of the hottest days of the year so far.
Highways England cut the central reservation to release traffic but tailbacks remained. There were also long delays on surrounding routes.
The motorway was not expected to return to normal until around 8pm.
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Resurfacing scheduled for later
The motorway still has two lanes closed Westbound and it looks like remaining so for some time until the damaged road can be resurfaced. The delays are clearing nicely, however.
Two lanes remain closed on the M62 westbound between junctions 22 and 21 with queuing traffic and congestion. Lanes one and two (of three) remain closed
One lane re-opens
One lane has re-opened Westbound. All aboard.
Only one lane is now closed on the M62 Eastbound between J21 and J22 following the oxygen tanker fire. Lane threeis now re-opened. Lane four is closed.
Get into line!
Highways England has a request to make
Highways England has some bad news. The M62 westbound isn’t expected to get back to normal conditions until 7.45pm to 8pm tonight.
Curse of the M62
BT Sport’s Jake Humphrey is off to Everton to present tonight’s football against Southampton. Or so he thought.
Not for the snow, silly. It’s for the DIESEL.
Traffic being freed
Things are getting better, everyone! Looks like the trapped traffic is being freed, slowly but surely.
Comedian Paddy McGuinness was stuck on the M62 earlier. Looks like he was having too much fun on his way to see his beloved Bolton Wanderers.
Burnt out truck - and the clean up
Here are the latest images from the clean-up operation on the M62.
What a nightmare Bank Holiday Saturday
Reports of some drivers being stuck for three hours on the M62 now.
Walkies on the hard shoulder
Even the dog did a double take when he saw this.
Rovers not roving very fast
Blackburn Rovers fans have reason to be cheerful. Well we can’t begrudge them that.
Well drilled in rearward relief
It’s a well practised routine this on the M62 unfortunately. Work to clear the motorway seems to be well underway.
Swingball - remember that?
This is bonkers. I didn’t think they made Swingball anymore...
From the motorway cameras we can see the queues stretching back beyond the Huddersfield side of Scammonden Bridge. And so it goes on.
Highways England latest
Here’s the latest Highways England update
Highways England update
Here’s the latest from Highways England: “The M62 in Greater Manchester is closed westbound between J22 and J21 near Milnrow due to an HGV fire.
“The central reservation barrier has been cut to release trapped traffic on to the eastbound carriageway. Lanes three and four have been closed eastbound to facilitate this.
“Westbound traffic is advised to exit the M62 at J22 and follow the hollow diamond diversion symbol. Take the A672 southbound towards Denshaw. Then take the A640 westbound towards Newhay and then take the A6193. Re-join the M62 at J21.
“Road users are advised to expect delays and to allow extra time for their journeys.”
Erm, she’s still not made it yet. We’re rooting for her, though.
Sunbathing on the M62. Whatever next?
Folks are sunbathing and making new friends on the M62. What a weird day.
Traffic on the move
Part of the central barrier has now been removed to get traffic off the motorway
'We were worried it was going to explode'
Ben Jenkinson was a passenger in a car which drove past the HGV before firefighters arrived.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “We were driving along the M62 and saw a huge plume of black smoke in the distance. It must have only just happened as there were no fire engines there.
“As we got closer we saw it was a lorry on fire. My friend driving saw what it was carrying and hurried up to get past it because he was worried it was going to explode. It looked really bad. The whole cabin was engulfed in flames.”
The barriers are coming down
Part of the central reservation is being removed as part of efforts to help motorists stuck on the M62
'Don't worry I'll walk'
She’s obviously got a plane to catch! Not the best start to your holiday I would imagine.
Trapped drivers are going to be released from the motorway - although Highways England have used a rather odd phrase for it
Hold the kick-off!
People are using the M62 today for all kinds of reasons. Some are off to the footy, some are off to weddings - and someone is going to watch a TV programme being filmed in Manchester. Where are you off to?
HGV driver thought to be ok
We understand the driver of the lorry managed to get out and wasn’t injured.
North West Ambulance Service have confirmed they were not asked to attend the fire.
Tanker carrying oxygen
Highways England has confirmed the HGV on fire is a tanker carrying oxygen.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called to a fire on the M62 near junction 21 on Saturday morning.
“On arrival crews found a HGV on fire on the westbound side of the carriageway.
“The vehicle is currently on the hard shoulder of the motorway.
“Three crews are in attendance including firefighters from Rochdale, Heywood and Littleborough.
“Two jets and four breathing apparatus are being used.”
Gritters head to M62
West Yorkshire Police said gritters have been called to the scene of the fire on the M62 to treat the road due to diesel spillage on the carriageway.
A spokesperson said motorists were advised to avoid junction 22 and said the westbound carriageway was likely to be closed “for the foreseeable future”.