Firefighters have now brought the tanker fire on the M56 at Helsby under control and traffic has begun to flow again.
Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire Fire and Rescue continue to work together to deal with this afternoon’s vehicle fire on the M56 motorway, bringing chaos to transport systems throughout the area.
In addition to massive tailbacks on the motorway and surrounding roads, trains were stopped on both the Manchester to Chester and Ellesmere Port to Helsby lines, while air traffic control were advised of the incident to make sure that air traffic is stopped over the area.
Firefighters have now brought the incident under control and the precautionary safety cordon that had been in place since the incident occurred at around 3pm has now been reduced.
A Cheshire Police spokesman said: “This means that many of the road closures that had been put in place will now be lifted. Although this means traffic will start flowing again, we would ask motorists caught in the tailbacks to remain patient as the incident prompted significant congestion throughout the north of the county and it may take some time for you to get moving again.
“Meanwhile, action has also been taken to help those motorists trapped between the incident and the road closures to leave the motorway. Significant police, fire and ambulance resources have been assigned to both the incident itself and supporting the wider community until the traffic situation is back to normal.
“With the cordon reduced, the previous safety advice issued to residents and motorists has now been lifted.
“The Manchester to Chester railway line has now re-opened, but the Helsby to Hooton line remains shut. Flights to John Lennon Airport are no longer being diverted.”