COMMUTERS faced traffic chaos this evening with two lanes of the M60 closed due to a van fire.

Lanes one and two of the M60 anticlockwise between junction 17 for Prestwich and Whitefield and junction 16 for the A666 at Clifton were closed for several hours but have now been reopened.

Firefighters from Whitefield were called to the blaze at 4.50pm, putting it out by around 5.10pm.

The driver of the van, an electrician, had managed to pull onto the hard shoulder and was not injured, but his vehicle was completely destroyed.

It is believed the fire was started by a fault in the brakes, which could have been due to them being over-tightened at a recent service.

Tony Wellock, Whitefield watch manager, said: “The van was destroyed by the time we got there, which took quite a while due to the extremely heavy traffic.

“There was some damage to the surface of the motorway itself which will need to be repaired.”

Delays and very slow traffic were reported, with queues trailing back to junction 21.

The Highways Agency said motorists should allow extra journey time.