UPDATED: M5 closure in Somerset causing long delays heading to Bristol and South West

People heading to the South West from Gloucestershire have been warned of major traffic problems on the southbound M5 in Somerset. The motorway has been closed at junction 19 near Portishead, Bristol and Highways England has said it is likely to be closed into the night. The impact of the closure has turned parts of Bristol into a ‘car park‘ BristolLive reports.

Highways England said the M5 closure is following a collision involving a HGV at around 5.15am. This caused a large diesel spill that has damaged all three lanes of the motorway. A picture was released by highways bosses to show the extent of the work that will need to be done which you can see at the top of this article.

The affected part of the M5 near Bristol

They said it will need to be resurfaced before it can safely be reopened to traffic.

Highways England Regional Operations Manager, Izzy Evans, said: “We would like to thank drivers for their patience. We have been working hard to reopen the southbound M5 near Bristol and have already recovered the HGV. “Safety is our top priority and due to the extent of the damage caused by the diesel spill, we need to resurface all three lanes before we can safely reopen the southbound M5, which will take some time.

“It is unlikely it will reopen before the evening and I urge anyone wishing to use the southbound M5 near Bristol to allow extra time or find alternative routes.” Southbound traffic is being diverted via the exit and entry slip roads at junction 19. “The northbound carriageway remains open.”

Update: At 4.45pm, Highways England said: “Resurfacing crews have arrived and the resurfacing is now underway “These works are expected to go on into the night so please avoid the area if you can. “For those still stuck in the traffic, we’re working hard to get you moving again.”

For the latest on the M5 and regional traffic, see this live blog.

For delays in Bristol, visit here