A motorcyclist died today in a hit-and-run crash on a motorway which caused five-hour delays for passengers heading to and from London Stansted Airport.

The M11 was shut in both directions during rush hour following the smash between junction eight for Stansted and seven for Harlow in Essex at about 5am this morning.

Essex Police said the rider of the motorbike, a man in his 60s, died after the crash – and the other vehicle involved ‘failed to stop at the scene’. 

The M11 is a key route for people heading to the airport from the South East – and its closure has led to traffic snarling up on local roads including the A120 and A1184.

Almost all Stansted flights were still operating on time, although an easyJet flight to Amsterdam was delayed due to a cabin crew member being stuck in traffic. 

The chaos left many passengers facing missing their flights, with Ryanair saying customers affected would be moved to the next available plane for free.

The motorway has been closed in both directions – northbound between junctions seven and eight, and southbound between junctions six and eight.

Police said they expect the road to remain closed into this afternoon and are working with Highways England to re-open it ‘as soon as possible’.

Matt Cornish, Harlow district commander for Essex Police, posted on Twitter: ‘We will be starting to turn cars around on the M11 shortly. 

‘Please remain within your vehicles and follow instruction from Essex Roads Policing to allow this to happen quickly and safely.’

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