A VEHICLE fire on a major motorway wreaked havoc this evening, forcing a carriageway to be closed for several hours.

The blaze broke out on the southbound carriageway of the M1, between junction 40 (A638, Wakefield Road) and junction 39 (A636, Denby Dale Road).

It was first reported at 5.30pm, according to the AA.

Congestion was believed to be stretching back three miles to junction 41 (Carrgate) at one point.

Lanes three (of four) were briefly opened to release traffic that had been stuck, but the road was then fully closed again.

Traffic was being diverted off at junction 40, with a diversion via the A638 and A636.

Three of the four lanes opened at 7.10pm, with the carriageway fully reopening 10 minutes later after the vehicle had been recovered.