A MOTORIST caused traffic chaos near a North-East shopping complex after driving the wrong way up the A1 amid heavy traffic this morning.

The dual carriageway at the Metrocentre was closed for 20 minutes from 9.30am after the silver Honda Civic driver turned north on to the southbound carriageway.

The man was made aware of his mistake by a cyclist following two minor collisions with other vehicles, including a red Jaguar.

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Queues of cars, many containing bargain hunters heading for the post-Christmas sales at the Gateshead shopping centre, snaked back from the incident, but no-one was injured.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “The driver has gone from Hollingside Road and onto the A1 on the wrong side of the road, on the southbound carriageway, travelling north.

“He caused two minor collisions before he was stopped by a cyclist.

“Officers closed the road so they could move the cars. It was opened again at 9.50am.”

Police said investigations into the incident are ongoing but the man was not arrested.

The spokesman added: “No-one was injured but you just think what a nightmare that could have been. You just do not expect that, do you?”