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Richard E Grant among hundreds caught up in M2 gridlock after seven-car collision

By Cate McCurry

Published 21/11/2015

Actor Richard E Grant was among hundreds of motorists caught up in gridlock following a seven-car collision on the M2 yesterday
Actor Richard E Grant was among hundreds of motorists caught up in gridlock following a seven-car collision on the M2 yesterday
Heavy congestion on the M2 citybound yesterday afternoon after a road traffic accident

Actor Richard E Grant was among hundreds of motorists caught up in gridlock following a seven-car collision on the M2 yesterday.

The Withnail and I star is currently in Northern Ireland filming Game of Thrones but was caught up in the traffic chaos shortly after lunchtime.

Motorists reported long tailbacks following the collision at the Fortwilliam junction close to the city centre.

A number of ambulances attended, but it is not believed anyone was seriously injured or taken to hospital for treatment.

A commuter who was among the hundreds caught up in the traffic jam contacted the Belfast Telegraph after he was almost an hour late for his shift at work.

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "It took me about 45 minutes to travel about two miles. People who tried to take alternative routes via Shore Road or Duncrue Street found those roads busy as well.

"There is an early rush hour on a Friday, and secondly there were worries about snow tonight, so you had an unusually high number of cars in the early rush hour which added to the chaos. It was very frustrating.

"The signs informing motorists that there was an accident were too close to the scene for drivers to seek another way to avoid build-ups into the city.

"I think these types of traffic delays could be handled a bit better."

Actor Richard E Grant was caught up in the long delays.

The 58-year-old, who has had roles in Downton Abbey and starred in Gosford Park among many other productions, arrived in Belfast on Thursday to film his part in season six of Game of Thrones.

It is expected he will appear in a number of episodes, however it is not yet known what his role is.

A PSNI spokesman said a number of lanes were blocked by the cars, and added an ambulance was at the scene, although it is not believed anyone was seriously hurt. The collision happened around the Duncrue Street off-slip, leading to delays from junction one to junction two.

Moneyglass singer Audrey Gallagher was also among the commuters unlucky enough to be stuck in the long tailbacks.

She posted on her Twitter page: "Seven-car collision M2 Belfast bound. Hope everyone's OK.

"Sitting in traffic on the M2 Belfast -bound and who's in the Jeep behind me only Richard E Grant."

Another Twitter user, Darren Seaton, wrote: "M2 closed into Belfast and 4G is actually GPRS in Belfast, Friday going well."

There were further delays on the M2 northbound yesterday evening following another collision, with queues of traffic backed up to the Westlink.

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