Latest South West traffic updates as M4, M5 and M32 fuel protests continue

Motorists have been warned that disruption is likely throughout the day, as protests are planned on the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge along with rolling roadblock on parts of the M5/M4/M32.

In the South West, the roads expected to be impacted are:

  • M4 Prince of Wales Bridge - in both directions from around 7am

  • M48 Severn Bridge - in both directions

  • M5/M4/M32 - northbound from Bridgwater at about 8.30am, before impacting on the M4 eastbound and M32 inbound

  • Shepton Mallet - potential protest at Tesco forecourt from approximately 10.30am

Avon and Somerset Police officers have warned that drivers can expect journey times to be longer than normal, especially on motorways and main roads during the busiest times of the day.

Motorists are being advised to consider alternative travel plans.

There has been a mixed response from the public, with some supporting the actions of those causing disruption on roads across the country today, and others saying they "understand why they are frustrated" but say widespread chaos isn't the way to impact change.

Superintendent Paul Wigginton said: “Working alongside Gwent Police, we are engaging with the various organisers of these protests.“People have a right to peaceful protest and liaison teams from both Gwent and Avon and Somerset have been working to understand campaigners’ plans so public safety is maintained and to reduce disruption to others.

“Nevertheless, drivers can expect journey times will likely be longer than normal, especially on motorways and main roads during the busiest times of the day. We advise motorists consider any alternative travel plans available and ensure they are suitably prepared in case they are delayed.”

  • 7am: Currently traffic is moving as normal

  • 7.30am: A slow-moving rolling roadblock is underway on the M4. Avon and Somerset Police say a number of vehicles will head east over the Prince of Wales Bridge and expected to exit the M4 at J22 (Pilning). There they plan to re-join westbound towards Wales.

  • 8.15am: A slow-moving roadblock has begun on the M5. Traffic is queuing between J30 A376 Sidmouth Road (Exeter / Service Areas) and J29 A3015 Honiton Road.

  • 8.30am: There are delays on the M4 eastbound at the moment around the Bath area. However, traffic is still moving.

  • 10.15am: Avon and Somerset and Gwent Police forces say they are aware of driving offences being committed on the M4 Severn Bridge and that they will be investigated.

  • 10.25am: Gwent Police have closed the Prince of Wales Bridge eastbound, with traffic being diverted to the M48 Severn Bridge.

  • 11.00am: Devon & Cornwall Police have made an arrest on the A48, but say the M5 protest concluded safely

  • 11.15am A protest is also taking place at a Tesco petrol station in Shepton Mallet, Avon and Somerset Police said. The force say they don't believe any other petrol stations are affected so far.

Protesters are blocking a Shepton Mallet petrol station.
  • 11.20am: On the westbound carriageway of the M4 near to the Prince of Wales crossing

    uniformed police officers were arresting eight fuel price protesters who had

    been driving vehicles. A PA news agency reporter at the scene said they were being arrested for driving slower than the agreed 30mph speed limit. It is understood that protesters who had blocked the eastbound carriageway of the Severn crossing were also being arrested.

  • 11.45am: The M4 Prince of Wales bridge has reopened in both directions

  • 2.00pm: The M4 and M48 have been cleared after earlier delays but the convoy is still affecting the M5

  • 2.30pm: Gwent Police say 12 people have been arrested for breaching the legal notice by driving at under 30 mph for a prolonged amount of time.

  • Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.