M5 traffic live: Northbound carriageway reopened after tipper truck crash sparked nine-hour closure
The M5 remains partially closed near Bristol nine hours after a tipper truck crashed into an overhead gantry.
The motorway has reopened northbound but remains closed southbound between J18 for the Avonmouth and J17 for Cribbs Causeway.
The incident happened at around 8.20am this morning (2 March) and saw the motorway closed in both directions for safety reasons.
Photos from the scene show the remnants of the truck wedged between the road and the gantry.
Southbound traffic is being diverted via the M4 westbound to the M49 to rejoin the M5 at junction 18. There are further delays as the M4 has been closed in both directions following a serious crash on the Prince of Wales Bridge.
For local traffic, southbound diversions are also in place southbound via M5 junction 17 and northbound via junction 18.
In an update issued at 5.30pm, National Highways says it hopes the southbound carriageway will open "a little later this evening".
Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for witnesses following the incident.
"We understand the lorry joined the M5 at junction 17 and are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision or the vehicle in the moments leading up to the incident," they added.
"Dashcam footage from drivers in the area and showing the lorry would also be gratefully received."
If you can help, call 101 and give the call handler reference number 5223050000.
Terry Robinson, South West Engineering Manager for National Highways, said: “We were forced to close the M5 today to protect the travelling public and given the scale of the damage, we and our teams have been working extremely hard to ensure we could reopen by this evening.
“The incident occurred on a particularly busy section of the M5, we have been working with our police partners throughout the day, and we appreciate the closure has caused significant delays to people’s journeys.
“The gantry is now perfectly safe but the extent of the damage means we will need to replace the structure and we’ll be looking to move a new gantry into place in the coming days, under a planned overnight closure.
“We’ll communicate that once we have a date confirmed, and in the meantime we thank all drivers for their co-operation and patience today.”
The motorway has now reopened.