TRAFFIC heading from Yorkshire to London on the opening day of the Olympics has been advised to take the A1 instead of the M1.
The warning came from traffic information company Inrix after M1 traffic was delayed badly by a multiple pile-up on the M1 in Northamptonshire.
Three lanes northbound and two southbound were closed between junction 16 west of Northampton and junction 18 east of Rugby.
The northbound section was only able to stay open through traffic using the hard shoulder to get past the accident scene.
A spokesman for traffic information company Inrix said: “These delays will impact traffic heading to London for the Games today.
“The advice is for traffic heading from the West Midlands or north-west England to take the M40 instead. For those travelling from Yorkshire or north-east England, we advise drivers to take the A1.”
Meanwhile, people travelling towards east London for the start of the Olympics suffered main line and Tube delays.
One of the hold-ups was at North Greenwich where the Games’ gymnastics and basketball is being held.
The North Greenwich problem was a signal failure on the Jubilee line - just two stops from the main Olympic station at Stratford.
Those heading to London from East Anglia were delayed by a broken-down train at Ingatestone in Essex.
This caused hold-ups for Greater Anglia train company services into London’s Liverpool Street.
There were also delays into another major London terminus - Euston.
These were caused by a signalling problem at Bletchley in Buckinghamshire which affected passengers on London Midland, Southern, and Virgin Trains services.
Also, First Capital Connect and Southeastern train services were affected by a lineside fire at Herne Hill in south London.
Earlier, a train designated by Southeastern to mark the start of the official high-speed London to Stratford Javelin services left St Pancras station five minutes late.
Southeastern said the 7.04am had departed at 7.09am as the booked driver was ill and had to be replaced.
On the Tube there were minor delays on the Victoria line due to staff illness.