THE M56 was closed by a serious crash this afternoon.

An accident shortly after 3.30pm shut the motorway in both directions between junction 11 at Daresbury and junction 12 at Runcorn.

Several vehicles are believed to have been involved in the collision, with police, firefighters and paramedics having attended the scene.

The air ambulance was also called out, with a man who was injured having been taken to hospital by road.

While the eastbound carriageway was reopened shortly afterwards, the route remained closed westbound for more than an hour.

But the motorway was fully reopened at around 4.45pm.

Around three miles of queues are reported back to junction 10 at Stretton as a result of the crash.

Tailbacks in the opposite direction are to junction 14 at Helsby.