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  1. ITV Report

Bank Holiday weekend starts with standstill on M5 in Somerset after concerns for a woman on a bridge

Motorists entertain themselves while stuck in solid jams Credit: Ben Hughes

Motorists were left stranded in 19-mile long tailbacks as part of the M5 motorway in Somerset was closed on Thursday due to concerns for a woman on a bridge.

The police brought the woman safely down from the bridge and she is "safe and well".

The motorway was closed in both directions between Junctions 26 and 27 near Wellington shortly before 11am.

By around 12.30pm, there was a 19-mile stretch of non-moving traffic from Taunton to Cullompton, according to the Highways England website.

A group of men took advantage of the empty motorway and played rugby. Credit: SWNS

A number of those stuck in tailbacks took to Twitter to express their frustration.

One user, identified as Rob, posted a photo of vehicles in front, with the hashtag #worldsbiggestcarpark.

Dan Evans posted a video of the traffic gridlock "nightmare"

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Sarah Dyer-Hall, from London, posted a photograph of people sitting on the central reservation barrier and advised other motorists to "avoid the area".

Other motorists found novel ways to keep themselves entertained.

Avon and Somerset Police reopened the road at around 12.45pm.

A statement said the woman was being moved from the bridge and is "safe and well".

The force also warned that there would be delays while the backlog of traffic clears, and advised motorists travelling to Wellington to consider postponing their journey.

The M5 was already expected to be very busy as holidaymakers begin heading to the South West for the August bank holiday weekend.