A major diesel spillage closed access to and from the northbound services of the M6 at Forton for more than five hours today.
Specialist fire crews trained to deal with hazardous materials were called to the scene near Lancaster at just after 8am today when an HGV spilled fuel over a 300-metre stretch of the service area.
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said other drivers, unaware of the spill, had driven through the area and out on to the motorway, contaminating the carriageway.
Highways England closed both slip roads to contain the incident. They were reopened this afternoon.
“From what we can gather a lorry has hit some sort of grid and spilled fuel over 300 metres of tarmac in the lorry area and service area,” said the fire spokesman.
“But before they knew what had happened, passing traffic then picked up fuel on their tyres and drove out of the exit slip, thus contaminating the motorway for a short distance and making it slippery.
“We are cleaning up the service area, which is a straightforward enough procedure with out specialist hazardous materials equipment. But its impact on the motorway is being dealt with by Highways England.”