A MAN was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after a crash which led to the closure of the A590 for nearly seven hours.

Two vans were involved in the incident, which happened around 9.50am between Greenodd and Haverthwaite.

Four fire engines, an air ambulance and Cumbria Police were called to deal with the crash.

Firefighters freed a man from one of the vehicles and he was flown to Royal Preston Hospital.

A police spokesman said he was in a critical condition and his family had been made aware.

Barrow Station manager Roger Exley said: “A male was extricated from a vehicle which had gone off the road by firefighters and North West Ambulance Service paramedics.  “He was then airlifted to hospital by air ambulance.”

A spokeswoman from the North West Ambulance Service said: “We were alerted at 9.54am and attended with the air ambulance and land ambulance.

“The patient was airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital following major trauma injuries.

“He was in critical condition.”’ The road was shut for most of the day and tailbacks were also reported on diversion routes.

Motorists were held up in miles of congestion as the incident was cleared.

The road re-opened shortly before 5pm.

Ulverston Town councillor Andrew Butcher said better measures need to be in place for diversions on the A590.

He said: “We have a serious issue with the A590.

“When accidents take place, motorists are forced to use back roads which become very congested.

“We need to take better control of the A590.

“We need to be able to keep that area of land moving without forcing drivers to use the backroads.

“It turns to absolute bedlam when the main road is out of use.”

A second incident was reported near Arrad Foot just minutes after the road re-opened. No further details were released.