THOUSANDS of motorists were caught up in miles of tailbacks following the closure of a busy section of the A64 York bypass.

The A64 between Grimston Bar and the Fulford Road interchange was closed yesterday for more than three hours for work to take place to recover a crashed lorry.

The HGV had collided with a van which had broken down at the side of the road at about 12.15pm the previous day, and the lorry ended up down an embankment on the same stretch of road.

The lorry driver was freed from his cab at the time of the crash shaken but unharmed and the van driver escaped unscathed.

But it took until yesterday for the recovery operation to take place. Both lanes of the A64 eastbound were shut at 9.45am yesterday and remained closed until 1pm between the A19 Fulford interchange and the Grimston Bar Interchange.

The closure caused many miles of queuing traffic on a number of routes into York with diversions in place via the already congested A19.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “The initial accident only closed one lane of the carriageway for a few hours on Thursday and caused minimal disruption, but unfortunately the HGV went down an incline making the recovery effort a lengthy exercise.”

He said every effort had been made to get the road re-opened as soon as possible.