A FAMILY escaped from their vehicle just minutes before it went up in flames at the side of the motorway.

The M66 northbound was shut off for about 30 minutes last night due to a pick-up truck on fire.

A man and woman, believed to be in their 30s, and a child, aged about 10, pulled over and evacuated from the vehicle after noticing smoke issuing from the white Ford.

Crews from Bury Fire Station and Rawtenstall were called to the incident shortly after 9pm.

Watch manager at Bury, Rick Taylor, said: "We were called to a vehicle fire on the M66.

"A pick-up truck was fully alight on the hard shoulder as we arrived. The vehicle was 100 per cent destroyed.

"Thankfully the passengers were able to get out and no one was injured. They had noticed the vehicle was on fire and pulled over. The three people had got themselves into a safe position on the other side of the barrier."

The northbound carriageway of the M66 was shut by police while fire crews worked to make the vehicle safe.

Firefighters used a hose reel and breathing apparatus to extinguish the blaze. They remained at the scene for about 40 minutes.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.