BOTH the M6 and M56 were closed by crashes at rush hour.

Emergency services shut the M6 southbound between junction 20 at Lymm and junction 19 at Knutsford following a serious accident, which saw a car collide with a bridge at around 4pm today, Wednesday.

Two casualties were cut from the vehicle by firefighters having been trapped inside.

Cheshire Police and the North West Ambulance Service have also been in attendance, with investigations continuing into this evening before the road reopened at around 11pm.

The northbound carriageway was temporarily closed in order to allow the air ambulance to land at the scene, although this too has since been lifted.

Congestion of at least 45 minutes was tailing back southbound to junction 21 at Woolston, with 10-minute delays having been reported on the M6 northbound before its closure as a result of vehicles slowing to look at the crash on the opposite side.

Warrington Guardian:

One lane of the southbound carriageway was closed initially, before the remainder of the highway was shut shortly after 4.30pm.

Diversions were in place via the M56 eastbound and the A556 southbound.

Queues were also reported along the A57 Manchester Road and other roads throughout the town as motorists sought alternative routes.

The severity of any injuries sustained by the car's occupants is not yet known.

Four fire engines attended the scene.

A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "At around 4pm, firefighters were informed of a collision on the M6 southbound between junctions 20 and 19.

"On arrival, crews discovered that a saloon car had collided with a bridge and that two people were trapped inside the vehicle.

"The motorway was closed as emergency services worked at the scene.

"Firefighters used specialist cutting equipment to remove the car's roof.

"They then got the casualties out of the vehicle and handed them over to the care of paramedics.

"An air ambulance was in attendance."

Meanwhile, the M56 eastbound was also fully blocked earlier after another crash.

Police and paramedics were called to the incident between junction 10 at Stretton and junction nine at Lymm.

This incident occured at around 4.30pm, with a van having overturned before colliding with a lorry and a car on the slip road leading to the M6.

No parties are believed to have been seriously injured, although a woman was taken to Warrington Hospital as a precaution.

One lane reopened at around 5pm, but others remained shut before the motorway fully reopened at around 6.15pm - resulting in delays of around an hour and five miles back to junction 11 at Preston Brook.

Four more fire engines - including crews from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service - were called out.

The fire service spokesman said: "Shortly after 4.30pm, firefighters received reports of a collision on the M56 eastbound between junctions 10 and nine.

"On arrival, crews discovered that the collision involved a saloon car, a transit van and a heavy goods vehicle.

"No-one was trapped inside any of the vehicles.

"Firefighters assessed people involved in the collision before paramedics arrived.

"They also made the vehicles safe.

"The woman who was driving the saloon car was taken to Warrington Hospital in an ambulance as a precaution.

"No-one else was taken to hospital."