Motorists endangered their lives and the lives of others this morning when they turned around and travelled the wrong way down the M1 motorway after a truck caught fire.
Fire Brigade sources said as they arrived to fight the blaze – near the Ravensdale exit at Junction 19 on the southbound carriageway – they encountered cars that had turned to travel back to the next exit and continue their journeys.
“It was a very dangerous thing for them to do and could have made what was already a dangerous situation a whole lot worse,” said a fire brigade spokesman.
“A truck fire can be challenging enough without having to deal with head-on collisions on the way to it,” he added.
The southbound carriageway remained closed early this morning at Junction 20 Jonesborough after the truck fire, which was first reported at 5.25am.
Motorists were being diverted off onto the Old Dublin Rd (R132) through Ravensdale Park and then returned to the M1 at Junction 19.
One lane of the carriageway later opened, but there were lengthy tailbacks as a result of the fire.
Motorists took to social media to warn others to avoid the route if possible.
“M1 still blocked – fire engines on the scene – going nowhere,” warned one driver stuck in the heavy traffic.
There were no reports of injuries and the left lane and hard shoulder remained closed while a tow truck was organised to remove the burned-out trailer.
The cause of the fire, or whether it started in the truck or the trailer, is not yet known.