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Good Friday drivers face long delays after M4 lorry fire

Highways England said the road was closed in both directions for an hour. Credit: Highways England South West

Drivers on the M4 have been facing long delays amid heavy Good Friday travel after a gas tanker fire closed the motorway in both directions.

The lorry caught fire on the eastbound carriageway of the motorway between Junction 18 Bath to Junction 17 Chippenham.

An estimated 6.6 million people in the UK were believed to be planning a trip involving an overnight stay over the Easter weekend.


Major crash involving a tanker, a van and several cars closes M4 in Cardiff

The motorway is closed between junctions 32 and 33 and one lane has also been closed on the eastbound carriageway. Credit: Google maps

A serious crash involving a tanker, a van and several cars has closed the westbound carriageway of the M4 in Cardiff.

The tanker hit the central reservation halfway between junction 32 for Coryton and junction 33, Cardiff West, at about 17:50 GMT on Monday.

The motorway is closed between junctions 32 and 33 and one lane has also been closed on the eastbound carriageway.

There are long queues in both directions and a diversion has been set up at junction 30.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it sent two rapid rapid response vehicles, one ambulance and a doctor.

An air ambulance cannot be called in due to the weather conditions.


Plans for relief road on M4 previously shelved

This map shows the section of the M4 that is frequently congested, and that would be bypassed if plans for a 14-mile relief road went ahead.

Map showing the section of the M4 between junctions 23 and 39 near Newport in South Wales Credit: Google Maps

The Welsh government has long pushed for a relief road in this area. Plans were shelved in 2009 after the projected cost of the project rose to £1 billion.

  1. Wales

Welsh Govt: Talks 'continuing' over borrowing powers

The Welsh Government have refused to comment on reports that the UK Government will soon announce plans to back a new M4 relief road around Newport.

In a statement they said that they "do not comment on speculation."

We have been pressing the UK Government for access to borrowing powers in order to finance infrastructure investment. Those talks are continuing.

Meanwhile, we continue to consider the large volume of responses to our consultation on M4 corridor enhancements from Magor to Castleton.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Campaigners slam toll plans as 'poor value for money'

Sustrans Cymru - an organisation that promotes greener transport - has condemned the potential M4 Toll as "poor value for money".

A spokesman said that a "more cost effective way to reduce congestion would be to invest in shifting these journeys to public transport."

"The Welsh Government acknowledges that 40% of journeys on this stretch of the M4 are local trips of under 20 miles," he added.

Government plans for M4 toll 'could backfire'

We have seen with the M6 Toll that drivers can be turned off by the imposition of charges. There is already a toll to get into Wales on the Severn Crossing but no toll to get out.

There is no doubt that the M4 around Newport needs improving. At the moment if there is a bad accident and the road is closed there is no real alternative for drivers.

But if the road is tolled it reduced its economic effectiveness as a lot of people will be put off using it and will simply avoid it.

– Edmund King, AA President
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