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Major traffic delays on M4 near Bristol after lorry hits reservation and sheds load

The lorry shed its load after colliding with the central reservation on the M4 near Bristol. Credit: Highways England

Severe traffic delays have been reported on the M4 motorway near Bristol after a lorry struck the central reservation and shed its load.

The vehicle, which was carrying heavy machinery, collided with the barrier between junction 20 for the M5 and and junction 21 for the M48.

The crash happened at around 4am, and resulted in the temporary closure of the M4 carriageway in both directions.

Lane restrictions remain in place and drivers heading eastbound are currently experiencing traffic delays of up to 60 minutes, according to Highways England.

The crash has caused severe delays. Credit: Highways England

The travel time for motorists heading westbound, meanwhile, is around 20 minutes.

In a series of tweets, Highways England said the lane closures are likely to remain in force for the “foreseeable future”.

There are 30 minute delays on the eastbound approach to this incident spanning 5 miles back towards M4 J22.

Average speeds in the area are 7mph.

Please allow extra journey time this morning as this incident is expected to cause delays into the morning peak.

– Highways England on Twitter

The incident has resulted in further queues on the Prince of Wales Bridge, the Severn Bridge, the M48 and the M32.

Avon and Somerset Police have advised motorists to avoid the area while the lorry and its shed load are cleared.

We are supporting colleagues from Highways England following a serious collision on the M4.

We were called shortly before 4am today to the non-injury collision on the M4 westbound between junctions 20-21.

A low loader lorry with a trailer carrying heavy plant machinery was in collision with the central reservation.

Two lanes have been blocked on the westbound section and a further lane on the eastbound section.

A rolling roadblock was put in place to seal off the affected area.

– Avon and Somerset Police

Updates below:

  • 1.05pm - Emergency repairs

One lane remains closed following this morning's collision, with slow traffic in the area.

Emergency repair work is now being carried out on the central reservation.

  • 8.20am - M48 closed due to congestion
  • 7.45am - 'Plan ahead'

Highways England has again urged drivers to "plan ahead" in order to avoid the worst of the delays on the M4, M5, M48 and M32.

In a tweet, Highways England described the ongoing delays as "severe" - with approximately 11 miles of congestion eastbound and six miles westbound.