RUSH-hour traffic came to a standstill after a three-vehicle smash involving a coach.
The A19 came to a halt at around 8.30am today when the two cars and a bus collided near the A179 turn-off, on the outskirts of Hartlepool.
Both northbound carriageways were closed as emergency services rushed to the scene.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “It seems this is a big incident and traffic is expected to be backed up for some time while it is dealt with.”
Those travelling south were also hit by tailbacks after a wheel came off a Citroen Saxo car, which also happened near the A179 turn-off.
Traffic was said to be backed up three miles.