The M66 motorway is closed southbound tonight due to a serious collision involving multiple vehicles.

Highways England confirmed the motorway has been shut between Junction 2 at Bury and Junction 3 at Pilsworth.

Police and ambulance services are on the scene.

In a tweet, Highways England said: "A full closure J2 to 3 M66 is being implemented for a Police incident. This is likely to be closed for some time."

A number of motorists are believed to be stuck at the closure.

A diversion is in place and Highways England confirmed this is due to a 'serious multi-vehicle collision'.

The Agency added: "Diverted traffic should follow the solid square symbol.

"Exit the M66 at J2 and at the roundabout take the second exit onto the A58 eastbound.

"At the junction with Heap Brow/Heap Bridge, turn right onto Heap Brow southbound and merge on to Moss Hall Road.

"A the junction with Pilsworth junction, turn right onto Pilsworth Road westbound and continue then to rejoin the M66 at J3."

We will bring the latest updates on this breaking news.

Knock-on effects elsewhere

Other nearby roads and neighbouring motorways are feeling the effects of the M66 closure:

Motorway 'expected to clear between 11.45pm and midnight'

Traffic England’s live feed is currently estimating that the scene won’t be clear until nearly midnight.

Police 'working hard to release trapped traffic'

North West Motorway Police have issued a warning to drivers stuck behind the crash scene:

Bus services affected

Bus services that use the M66 between east Lancashire and Manchester are of course affected - operators are tweeting updates:

Latest from Highways England

This is the current situation reported by Highways England, along with a diversion:

Map shows queues building

Google’s live traffic map shows queues building from the scene of the crash between junctions 2 and 3 back north towards Ramsbottom.

Motorway closed due to serious crash

The M66 motorway is closed tonight due to a serious crash.

Highways England confirmed the motorway is closed between J2 and J3 near Bury.

Drivers are being advised to follow a diversion as the road is likely to be closed for some time.