RUSH-HOUR traffic was delayed by massive tailbacks following a three-car collision.
The outside lane of the southbound carriageway of the A19, near the Castle Eden turn-off, was closed yesterday after an accident which involved a green Peugeot 206, a silver Citroen C2 and a Hyundai Getz.
Police closed the lane for half an hour but motorists were caught up in delays for up to more than an hour due to a backlog of traffic after the incident was reported, at 8.30am.
Martin Dunn, a 20-year-old motorist who contacted the Mail on his way from Easington Village to work in Hartlepool said: "There were massive tailbacks.
"I was heading for Hartlepool and had come from Easington but it took me half an hour just to get to the Peterlee turn-off."
A Durham Police spokesman said the cars were damaged but no-one was seriously injured in the incident.
Peterlee Fire Station initially sent three appliances and a special rescue unit to the scene, but the special rescue unit and two appliances were sent back.
A station spokesman said all motorists and passengers had left their vehicles by the time crews arrived and their role was to make the road safe.