A jackknifed lorry brought a Wigan stretch of the M6 to a standstill.
Traffic cameras showed vehicles gridlocked due to the incident which happened on the northbound carriageway between junction 26 in Orrell and junction 27 in Standish shortly before 3.30pm on Thursday.
A Highways Agency spokesman said that it was down to one of the lorry’s tyres burst, causing it to lose control.
The vehicle’s trailer blocked the two outside lanes with traffic moving slowly along the first lane.
It caused delays of almost two hours for some vehicles with traffic backing up off junction 25 and into Wigan as the recovery operation lasted right through rush hour.
Eventually the road became clear at around 7pm.