TRAFFIC on roads around Crewe is heavy this morning after the M6 was shut southbound - but has since reopened - due to concrete falling from a bridge. 

The M6 motorway has now reopened following an earlier incident in which pieces of concrete fell from a bridge which runs over the M6.

The M6 southbound only was closed between Junctions 16 and 17 following the incident.

An inspection of the bridge has cleared it as safe for the motorway to re-open.

Speaking from the scene, Ins Liz Cunningham said, " It is not an easy decision to close a significantly busy section of a key motorway network during peak rush hour, but our prime concern is always the safety of the public.

"Two vehicles had already been hit by pieces of concrete falling from the bridge, fortunately with no serious injuries, but it was necessary to close the motorway and take expert advice on the bridge′s ongoing safety before the motorway could be re-opened and traffic allowed to pass under and across it.

"I would like to take the opportunity to thank everybody who had their journey delayed for their patience and co-operation".

An enquiry will now take place, led by the Highways Agency, to determine what caused pieces of concrete from the bridge to come loose.

Two vehicles were hit by the falling concrete - one suffering a shattered windscreen. One driver was uninjured, the other suffered cuts and abrasions to his face and head and went to hospital by ambulance for a precautionary check up.

There is significant congestion and slow moving traffic in and around the area, which is likely to continue for some while.

Police would advise anyone who is in standing traffic, and experiencing any welfare issues due to the high temperatures to ring the police non emergency number 101 if they require advice, or 999 if it is an emergency.