CCTV shows the heart-stopping moment a motorway driver ignored warning signs and narrowly avoiding crashing into a lorry after changing lanes at the last moment.

The reckless motorist had been travelling along a closed lane marked by a red X on the M60 near Whitefield.

With just seconds to spare before they reached Highways England officers helping the driver of a broken-down car in the central reservation, the car had to move over, swerving directly into the path of a HGV.

One of the officers at the scene, Ben Cookson, aged 24, said: "We’d done everything we could to keep everyone safe by stopping behind the broken-down car with our emergency lights flashing, putting out an incident sign and displaying red Xs to close the lane ­— but there were still drivers leaving it until the last few seconds before pulling in.

“It does make you bite your nails when you see something like that and you always have to have one eye on what’s going on behind you to stay safe while you’re trying to deal with an incident."

Red X signs are deployed by highways officers to indicate that a lane is closed.

Reasons for a red X can include an accident or breakdown, debris in the carriageway, or a person or animal on the road.

Lanes can also be closed to help emergency services get to incidents and provide a safe space for road workers.

When displayed drivers should change to an open lane to continue their journey.

Ignoring a red X sign is illegal, and police can give motorists driving in closed lanes a £100 fine and three points on their licence.

However, research by Highways England found that one in 10 drivers ignore red X signs on the region's motorway, putting lives at risk.

Mr Cookson said: “My job is to keep the roads moving safely, so I’d urge any drivers who don’t take notice of red X signs to think about the impact it would have on their own and other people’s lives if they were involved in a collision.

"Red Xs are always displayed for a reason so it’s just not worth the risk of ignoring them.”