HUNDREDS of Wigan motorists were stuck in major hold-ups on the M6 after a car caught fire at the side of the road.
Long tailbacks built up and blocked lanes for about a mile over the space of an hour as two lanes were closed while the flames were extinguished on the hard shoulder.
The fuel tank of the vehicle, which was a Volkswagen Golf, also blew up while emergency services battled to put out the fire.
Fortunately the driver, a male, managed to steer the vehicle onto the hard shoulder and escaped unharmed. The car and debris was removed from the scene shortly afterwards.
Around 50 per cent of the car was burnt in the incident, with heavy damage to the engine bay and smoke entering the passenger cabin.
Hindley fire station crew manager Neil Watson said: “We would like to remind people to leave their car and get to the other side of the barrier should anything happen on the motorway and they need to stop on the hard shoulder.”
Lanes were reopened at around 11.15am.