THE M65 was closed after a car burst into flames.

The motorway was closed westbound junction 4 to 3 after a black BMW X5 caught fire on the hard shoulder.

Blackburn with Darwen Roads Facebook group reported that the crash happened close to junction 5 heading towards Preston.

Emergency services were both on the scene.

The M65 entry slip road at junctions 4 and 5 were also both closed by police.

A fire spokesman said: "The driver of a black BMW X5 had just set off for a trip to London.

"As he passed Darwen driving  on the M65 he lost accelerator power of his BMW, he said ”the accelerator stopped working.”

"The driver managed to manoeuvre his vehicle onto the hard shoulder to investigate the problem.

"As his vehicle stopped he noticed smoke coming from the engine compartment, catching fire shortly afterwards. The large quantities of black smoke affected both sides of the motorway."

A police spokesman said: "A vehicle is on fire on the M65 between J3 and J4 west carriageway."

Drivers have been warned to expect severe delays on the A666, Stopes Brow, Blackamoor, Branch Road, Livesey Branch Road, Preston Old Road and around Ewood.

The motorway has now been re-opened but the entry slip road at junction 5 is still closed. The junction 4 slip road has been re-opened.

There are reports of very heavy traffic around Guide, Blackamoor and Ewood.The inside lane is still of the motorway is still closed.

A spokesman from Highways England said: “Junction five has now reopened but the access slip roads remain closed.

“Drivers are advised to avoid the area.”

A fire spokesman said: “We attended a vehicle fire on the hard shoulder of the M65 westbound, between junctions 3 and 4 at 4.21pm.

“The car was well alight on arrival and firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus used one hose reel to extinguish it.”