FIREFIGHTERS have had to rescue a passenger from a car following two separate crashes on the motorway.

A large emergency service presence was called to the M6 northbound this morning (January 18) following reports of collisions between junctions 16 and 18.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service sent two engines to the scene of the first incident, involving three cars and a van between junctions 16 and 17, shortly before 7am.

Firefighters used extrication equipment to remove a door of the car before releasing a passenger, who was then handed into the care of paramedics.

Police, ambulance and National Highways officers were also in attendance.

Two lanes of the M6 northbound were closed for three hours while the emergency services dealt with the incident.

However, all lanes are now back open and traffic has returned to normal.

A National Highways spokesperson said: "We can confirm that three cars were involved in a collision on the M6 Northbound between Junction 16 (Barthomley) and Junction 17 (Sandbach). 

"The incident was reported to us at 6.45am and emergency services attended. 

"Lanes one and two were closed while recovery of the vehicles took place and to make the road surface safe.

"A gritter attended to deal with a water spill resulting from the collision which had frozen over.

"All lanes were reopened at 9.47am."

The second incident involved a car and HGV between junctions 17 and 18 on the northbound carriageway.

A Cheshire Police spokesman said: At 6.50am on Thursday, January 18, police were called to a collision on the M6 northbound between junctions 17 and 18.

"Officers attended and found there had been a collision between a car and a HGV.

"There were no injuries and the scene was cleared by 8.23am."