AN INVESTIGATION is taking place after the unexpected closure of a motorway caused travel chaos for thousands of commuters. 

Overnight resurfacing work taking place on the M65 westbound between junctions three for Darwen and four for Blackburn failed to be completed by the scheduled time of 6am, meaning the road had to remain closed to allow for completion during Friday morning's rush hour. 

A spokesman for Highways England has now confirmed the reason for the delay was due to the fact there was a 'shortfall' in the amount of resurfacing material that was delivered to the site. 

Tailbacks of over five miles were experienced on the motorway as commuters attempted to get to work - and roads soon became blocked in and around the town as drivers tried to find a way around the motorway.

One commuter, who was travelling into work in Blackburn from his home in Euxton, said he was late to work due to the traffic. 

He said: “I left home at my usual time but was almost half an hour late getting in to the office this morning. I had heard about the traffic on the radio, so decided to come off the M65 at junction three to try and avoid the main bulk of the traffic. But it seems many people had the same idea as all the way through Cherry Tree and Feniscowles it was chaos.

“It was also approaching the start of school time so there were even more cars on the road.”

An investigation is now taking place into why enough material wasn't delievered throughout the night. 

A spokesman said: "During overnight resurfacing last night and into this morning we weren’t able to complete the work and re-open the carriageway at 6am at planned. 
"This was due to an unexpected shortfall in the amount of resurfacing material delivered to the site in rolling deliveries. 

"As soon as this was discovered, we worked hard to ensure the likely over-run of the work was communicated to drivers throughout the morning using social media and bulletins to travel media.

“We are investigating exactly what went wrong to ensure this doesn’t happen again. We would like to apologise to anyone affected by the carriageway closure and also thank them for their patience while we arranged to finish the work.”