Huge queues built up on Britain's busiest motorway today after a diesel spillage led to the part-closure of one of the road's busiest junctions.
Motorists faced delays of up to two hours after the incident at junction 8 of the M25 where the road meets the M23 near Gatwick Airport.
The junction, near Redhill in Surrey, had to be closed in the clockwise direction, with traffic being diverted around the sliproad, after a lorry hit a barrier and ruptured its diesel tank at around 4am today.
Long rush-hour queues formed, with delays of up two hours and traffic tailing back as far as junction 5 near Otford in Kent.
There were also long delays on the M23 northbound between junctions 9 and 7, which affected traffic from Gatwick.
With an area of the M25 needing to be resurfaced, the delays were set to continue for a large part of the day.
A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: "The lorry spilled fuel on the central carriageway. There was an extensive spillage.
"We are doing all we can to clear this up as quickly as possible. The junction is unlikely to be fully operational before 3pm and we are advising road users to avoid the area if possible."
She went on: "We have alerted Gatwick about the problem as well as the port of Dover and also Eurotunnel at Folkestone.
"We are using message signs to alert drivers about the incident."