A MALE has been taken to hospital after a serious collision shut the M56 in both directions between J12 near Frodsham and J11 at Preston Brook earlier this afternoon.

The collision occurred shortly after 3pm and paramedics, police and firefighters all attended the scene.

A male has been taken to Broadgreen Hospital in Liverpool, the ambulance service confirmed.

The eastbound carriageway reopened not long after the collision, and one lane was reopened westbound at around 4.30pm as recovery of the vehicles was carried out.

The motorway fully reopened in both directions shortly before 5pm.

A North West Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We were called today at 15:01 to reports of an RTC on M56 near junction 12.

"We sent two ambulance vehicles, an RRV and air ambulance and treated a male patient (major trauma) and took him to Broadgreen Hospital."

Highways England posted a series of updates on social media: "The M56 in both directions between J11 and J12 is currently CLOSED due to a serious collision."

It later added: "The eastbound carriageway is in the process of being reopened, however the westbound carriageway will remain closed at J11.

"We're just awaiting on the arrival of recovery, and once arrived we'll be hoping to reopen at least once lane whilst recovery takes place.

"There's approximately three miles worth of congestion on the approach to junction 11 westbound. This is backed up all the way to junction 10 (A49)."

In its latest update it confirmed one lane westbound had reopened and traffic was now starting to pass.