A CAR has been completely destroyed in a spectacular fire at the side of a motorway.

The inferno erupted on the hard shoulder of the southbound M1 near Junction 42 which connects to the M62, and flames quickly took hold of the stricken Ford Focus.

Thick, black smoke could be seen rising into the air from miles around as the fire spread over the car.

Nobody is believed to have been hurt in the blaze and the driver was clear of the scene when firefighters arrived.