Signing off

With the delays mostly clear, it is time to sign off.

Highways England have now said for those looking to join the M56 from the M53 to proceed to junction 10 and use the A5117 as the J11 slip road has been closed.

Thank you for following our live blog this afternoon, safe driving if you are still out there on the roads.

A recap of today’s events on the M56 can be found here.

Junction 14 congestion cleared

About four hours later, it appears the last of the delays are over after the M56 junction 14 crash.

The broken down vehicle on the slip road from the M53 is still causing a few problems.

Traffic is also easing on the alternative routes.

Latest traffic map

Here is the latest on the traffic according to Google Maps.

(Image: Google)

It is not over yet

Slowly, steadily, the queues are easing.

But North West Motorway Police have now said a vehicle has broken down on the slip road from the M53 onto the M56 at junction 15.

15-minute delays

Latest reports from Inrix says drivers are hitting 15-minute delays eastbound on the M56.

Unfortunately low traffic remains on the A5117 and A56 for those who tried to avoid the accident.

Recap

A reminder of how events have played out this evening.

Emergency services were first called at about 3.45pm after reports of a crash between junctions 14 and 12 of the M56.

The entire eastbound carriageway was initially blocked before the inside lane was opened to allow some traffic to flow.

Cheshire Police said there were ‘not believed to be any serious injuries’ as a result of the collision.

Heavy congestion had built up in both directions and on alternative routes by the time the motorway was fully reopened just after 5.15pm.

Queues are slowly easing as Highways England continue to put back their estimates for when they will clear, the latest is 6.45pm.

Congestion clearing

As expected, the situation is improving now all lanes of the motorway have reopened.

Travel site Inrix is reporting the M56 central barrier ‘may need repairs’ after the crash.


Queues remain

Despite the crash now being cleared, drivers are still warned to expect delays of around 50 minutes while the long tailbacks ease.

Highways are currently saying they expect flow on the M56 to return to normal by 6pm.

Please be aware traffic is also slow on the A56 through Frodsham and Helsby, the M53 and the A5117.

'All lanes reopened'

Good news! Multiple sources, including Highways England, have now said the eastbound carriageway has been fully reopened.

'Traffic stop-start'

Cheshire Police have said eastbound traffic is ‘stop-start’ back to junction 16 and also the exchange with the North Wales Expressway on the M53.

This is the second accident on the stretch of motorway between J14 and J12 in the space of a few days after a collision caused long delays on Monday.

Update on queues

Here is an updated Google Maps image of the congestion on the M56 and nearby roads as a result of the accident.

Map showing traffic levels following M56 crash between junctions 14 and 12 as of 5pm
Map showing traffic levels following M56 crash between junctions 14 and 12 as of 5pm (Image: Google)

Slow traffic westbound

Inrix says traffic is also slow westbound ‘due to people slowing to look at accident’.

A reminder that drivers have been warned to find an alternative route if possible.

Queues spilling onto M53

Highways England have tweeted to say the congestion is now affecting the M53.

M56 Highways tweet

'Not believed to be any serious injuries at this stage'

Cheshire Police have said a red Nissan Qashqai, a blue Volkswagen Passat and a beige Volkswagen Passat were involved in the crash.

A spokesman said: “Nobody is trapped in their vehicles and the drivers are currently being checked over. There are not believed to be any serious injuries at this stage.”

One lane reopened

Emergency services have managed to reopen the inside lane allowing some traffic to flow through.

Lanes two and three remain closed.

Travel and traffic site Inrix says the entire carriageway was blocked for about 10 minutes.

RTC M56 junc 14-12, 2 lanes closed due to an accident traffic is at a stand still, please consider an alternative route.

— NW Motorway Police (@NWmwaypolice) March 31, 2016


Long queues

This Google Maps image showing the extent of the tailbacks which have already formed.

Eastbound the queue has already reached as far as junction 15, the exchange with the M53.

Map showing traffic levels following M56 crash between junctions 14 and 12 on Thursday (March 31)
Map showing traffic levels following M56 crash between junctions 14 and 12 on Thursday (March 31) (Image: Google)

Traffic building

The crash is about one mile past junction 14 heading towards Manchester.

It is not clear how many vehicles are involved at this stage.

Cheshire Police have said the ambulance service are also aware of the incident.

Congestion is still building in both directions.

Highways England

We’re getting reports of a serious collision #M56 e/b J14-J12 currently blocked. Our @HighwaysNWEST traffic officers are en route.

— Highways England (@HighwaysNWEST) March 31, 2016


What we know

The entire M56 eastbound carriageway has been blocked and quickly caused long queues following a crash.

Cheshire Police said they were called to the scene between junctions 14 and 12 at 3.44pm on Thursday (March 31).

Drivers have been warned to avoid the area if possible.