Pictures show smoking M5 lorry amid ‘stay with vehicles’ warning

Pictures showing the lorry fire that has brought the M5 to a standstill today (July 13) have emerged amid a plea to drivers trapped near the scene to stay with their vehicles. The blaze between junctions 9 and 11 of the M5 in Gloucestershire has seen the motorway closed in both directions throughout the afternoon, with as much as ten miles of congestion currently reported. Traffic cameras are showing queues stretching back for miles as emergency services remain on scene handling the blaze.

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Gloucestershire Police has released an image showing the cab of the lorry still ablaze and heavy smoke issuing from the vehicle, with multiple fire engines at the scene managing the fire. The force issued an update earlier today confirming the closure and warning motorists nearby to be cautious of smoke from the scene. Highways England has also issued a warning to drivers trapped in the queues to remain with their vehicles and not move about the carriageway.

The bulletin says the motorway will remain closed through the afternoon due to the “complexity and severity” of the fire. The bulletin says: “Emergency services including Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service are in attendance. Highways England has resources deployed to assist.

Due to the severity and complexity of the fire, the road is expected to be closed throughout the afternoon. “Road users caught within the closure are advised to remain with their vehicles. Our officers will make arrangements to clear you from the closure once safe to do so.

“We strongly advise you allow plenty of extra time for your journey if you’re travelling in the area this afternoon as there are very long delays in both directions approaching the closure. The diversion route is also heavily congested.”

The delays around the scene could last for hours yet

Traffic monitoring service INRIX is updating regularly on the scene and is now reporting that the closure is in effect between junctions 11 and 9 to assist with diverting traffic. The latest update says: “M5 in both directions closed severe delays, queueing traffic due to lorry fire between J11 A40 (Gloucester / Golden Valley Bypass) and J9 A46 (Tewkesbury).

Congestion to most routes through Gloucester including the A40 and A430. “The closure has now been reduced to J11 and J9 to help with diverting traffic. The fire itself is between J11 and J10.

“Diversion – Northbound traffic is being diverted via the A417 from Gloucester to the M50 at J2.

Traffic can then follow the M50 to rejoin the M5 at J8.

“Southbound traffic is being diverted via the A38 between Tewkesbury and Gloucester, which is heavily congested.”