Motorway shut after van fire

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MOTORISTS faced disruption after three lanes of a motorway were shut following a van fire.

The eastbound carriageway of the M58 heading towards Wigan just after junction five near Skelmersdale was closed following the blaze at around 1pm on Tuesday.

A white Citroen Berlingo van developed an engine problem and the driver pulled over to the hard shoulder to find flames emerging from the engine.

Fire crews from Skelmersdale attended the scene but the vehicle was completely burnt out and the carriageway had to be closed while the Highways Agency dealt with some burnt fuel which had spilled on the road surface.

The driver was shaken but otherwise unhurt, while motorists had to find alternative routes between Skelmersdale and Orrell for around 20 minutes. The Highways Agency then re-opened the outside two lanes before traffic flow returned to normal a short time later.

Two fire engines from Skelmersdale went to the incident and the crews left the scene at around 2pm.