ALL lanes have now been reopened on the M56 westbound between junctions 11 for Preston Brook and 12 for Runcorn following an earlier accident.

The motorway was closed for an hour following a crash involving multiple vehicles, but traffic was allowed to pass in one lane while vehicles were recovered, before all lanes were reopened shortly before 5pm.

There is still a three-mile long queue of traffic backing up to junction 10 for Stretton as drivers are approaching the area, with queues expected to last during rush hour.

A diversion had been in place taking the traffic away from the M56 and travelling through Runcorn via the A56, the A558 towards the Mersey Gateway Bridge, the A533 and A557.

Traffic officers, motorway police, firefighters and paramedics were at the scene.

Eastbound traffic was also held earlier on following the accident, but it is now moving again, although queues are backing up as far as junction 14 for Helsby.