Lorry fire causes ‘substantial damage’ to M4

A lorry fire which left the M4 near Bath gridlocked during the rush hour has caused ‘considerable damage’ to the motorway. Traffic was held on the M4 in both directions between junction 16 for Swindon West and junction 17 for Chippenham due to the blaze on the westbound side of the motorway at around 6am today (Tuesday, March 29). The fire has caused lane closures and disruption today, with traffic queuing for miles.

Dramatic photographs from the scene show that the lorry has been completely destroyed in the blaze, as the fire “caused considerable damage to the carriageway”. National Highways say that as a result of the fire, hard shoulder and lane one are likely to need resurfacing. Lane three on the westbound carriageway has reopened as trapped motorists in the congestion are able to travel past the lorry wreckage, Wiltshire Live reports.

: Bath pub that famously kicked out Keir Starmer to expand A spokesman for National Highways said: “The M4 in Wiltshire has delays of over one hour westbound between J16 (Swindon) and J17 (Chippenham) due to a vehicle fire. Lanes one and two are currently closed.

There is currently 5.7 miles of congestion on the approach to the lane closure.

Firefighters tackle a lorry blaze on M4 between junction 16 for Swindon West and junction 17 for Chippenham

“Emergency services and recovery are on scene. The fire has caused considerable damage to the carriageway and the hard shoulder and lane one are likely to need resurfacing. Road users are advised to plan their journeys in advance, allow extra time and consider alternative routes if possible.

“Further information is available from National Highways by visiting our www.trafficengland.com website and travel apps, or via our regional twitter feed. Our 24/7 contact centre team is also available to provide up to the minute information on 0300 123 5000.” An update from traffic monitoring site Inrix said: “Two lanes closed, severe delays and queueing traffic due to earlier vehicle fire on M4 Westbound between J16 A3102 Swindon Road (Swindon West) and J17 A350 (Chippenham).

Travel time is 60 minutes.

Lanes one and two (of three) remain closed.”