THE driver of this van had a lucky escape after the vehicle caught fire on the A1 (M) in County Durham today.

Emergency services were called to reports of a van fire on the southbound carriageway of the motorway, between Bowburn and Bradbury, at around 11am.

One lane of was closed as a safety precaution while firefighters from Spennymoor Fire Station extinguised the blaze.

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said: "The crews arrived to find the van well alight but quickly got to work extinguishing the flames.

"The cause of the fire is suspected to be a fault with the engine.

"Luckily the driver of the vehicle was uninjured, he pulled over as soon as he noticed some smoke coming from the engine and immediately called 999."