What happened?

Two vehicles crashed on the A1 near Chester le Street in County Durham during rush hour this evening (Thursday, June 23).

One of the vehicles, a large white van, ended up on its side across the central reservation and shed its load of boxes.

Where did it happen?

Between junctions 63 and 64, on a stretch of the A1 between Chester le Street and Birtley.

It happened at around 5pm.

Was anyone hurt?

Durham Police confirmed that one man was taken to hospital.

Thankfully his injuries were described by Durham Roads Policing officers as being minor.

How was traffic affected?

The crash led to two lane closures of the A1 northbound and one lane was closed southbound between junctions 63 and 64.

At its worst there were tailbacks of around five miles long with traffic at a standstill.

It was taking motorists around 40 minutes to pass the affected area.

The traffic problems were likely exacerbated by a separate incident further north which saw one lane closed on the A1(M) southbound at J65 Western Bypass (Birtley) due to a broken down vehicle.

Traffic coming in and out of Newcastle was affected.

Congestion continued for several hours after the crash as the long tailbacks took time to clear.

One northbound lane remails closed tonight for emergency barrier repairs but traffic is flowing normally.

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