Police were called to a crash involving three cars on the westbound carriageway of the A45 between Irchester and the petrol station at 4.10pm yesterday (Wednesday).
No injuries were reported.
But just 20 minutes later, officers were called to an accident on the eastbound carriageway involving a lorry and a car.
A police spokesman said there were minor injuries but nothing serious.
And at 5pm there was a third crash in the tailbacks caused by the earlier accident on the eastbound carriageway.
Four cars were involved but there were no serious injuries.
A number of drivers tweeted about the problems caused by the three crashes within an hour.
One said: “Standstill traffic, haven’t moved in 15 minutes, just by Rushden Lakes shopping.”
Another tweet said: “A45 is awful at Rushden.
“40+ minute delays due to a crash westbound between Rushden Lakes and the A509.
“Affecting traffic between Rushden and Wellingborough.”