AN APOLOGETIC van driver has escaped injury after his vehicle went up in flames on the A1.

The westbound carriageway of the road was closed between Haddington and Gladsmuir following the fire last Friday afternoon.

Firefighters from Haddington and East Linton received a call at about 12.35pm after reports of a van “well alight”.

They used a high-pressure hose and were joined by colleagues from Police Scotland.

Chief Inspector Neil Mitchell, East Lothian’s area commander, was among the first on the scene.

He said in his column in the Courier this week: “This quickly took hold and before long the whole van was alight in the hard shoulder and I had to shut the road. Fortunately, the driver got out in time but a great deal of his personal items and work tools were destroyed.

“Despite this, the self-employed driver’s main concern was the inconvenience he was causing others. Whilst we were talking he asked me through this column to apologise to those caught up in the delays.”

Traffic was diverted at the Oaktree roundabout to use the A199 Macmerry road.

Long tailbacks were reported on the A1 as a result of the accident, with firefighters stepping down at about 1.45pm and the road re-opening before 2.30pm.