MOTORISTS using a South Derbyshire dual carriageway faced a nightmare commute this morning when a lorry caught fire forcing emergency services to close to road.
The lorry, which was carrying a cargo of cardboard, caught fire on the A50 westbound carriageway between junction five at Hilton and Junction six at Foston at about 1am.
Motorists were forced to exit the dual carriageway and follow diversions which caused severe tailbacks on roads in and around Hilton.
There was congestion to junction four at the Toyota Island where the A50 met the A38 while traffic ground to a halt on the A5132 Egginton Road to the junction at Main Street.
This morning, all that remained of the lorry was its burnt out skeleton which was later removed by the Highways Agency after it had sourced a recovery vehicle from Manchester.
The agency assessed the extent of the damage the fire had caused to the carriageway and cleared charred debris from the road before it was reopened at about 3pm.
A spokesman from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said crews inspected the vehicle at 8am and again at 9am.
They continued to dampen down the vehicle’s wreck using a hose reel jet until 9.35am when they left.
A spokesperson from Derbyshire Police said officers arrived at the scene of the fire at about 1.15am.
They closed the road before leaving the scene in the hands of the Highways Agency at about 4.30am.
A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said it has been informed of the fire at about 3.30am but its was not required to attend as water used to fight the fire did not run off into nearby water courses.
The traffic chaos on the A50 was compounded by a road closure in Willington where a 52-year-old man suffered serious head injuries when thieves stole a Ford Transit panel van in the early hours.