Fri. May 20th, 2022

Travel chaos has hit two of Britain’s motorways as a giant sinkhole closed two lanes on the M5 and caused damage to several vehicles, while one car was completely destroyed by flames on the M4, causing miles of backwards.

A sinkhole closed two lanes on the M5’s northbound lane between junction eight of the M50 junction and junction nine at Strensham, Worcestershire, on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the M4 was also hit with miles of backwards after a small car was left ‘100 per cent destroyed’ by flames after it burned on the highway’s hard shoulder around Swindon around 1am. 15.30.

On the busy M5 near the Cotswolds, there have been delays of more than an hour a massive cavity about six inches deep and a foot long opened up on the highway.

The cavity was in the second lane of the northbound lane and caused damage to several vehicles, which are now on the hard shoulder, according to Gloucestershire Police.

A sinkhole has damaged cars and closed two lanes down the M5's northbound lane between junction eight and junction nine in Strensham, Worcestershire

A sinkhole has damaged cars and closed two lanes down the M5’s northbound lane between junction eight and junction nine in Strensham, Worcestershire

Meanwhile, a private vehicle was left completely destroyed after it burned on the hard shoulder of the M4 just before 3.30pm on Saturday

Meanwhile, a private vehicle was left completely destroyed after it burned on the hard shoulder of the M4 just before 3.30pm on Saturday

National Highways confirmed the hole came after reports of a faulty bridge connection on the M5 at 3.33pm on Saturday, causing 1.5 kilometers of congestion and 30-minute delays.

Lanes one and two were closed to allow inspection of the defect, and National Highways contractors and specialists began emergency repairs, while motorists were urged to seek alternative routes.

The repairs were completed at 6.45pm on Saturday and road users have begun to reopen the carriageway.

A tweet from National Highways South-West read: ‘There are delays of over an hour on the M5 northbound in Gloucestershire due to emergency repairs to road surfaces between the J9 (Tewkesbury) and J8 (for the M50), where 2 (of 3)) lanes are closed.

‘National Highways contractors and specialists are present and repairs will take place throughout the afternoon.

‘We strongly recommend that you allow extra time for your trip if you are traveling in the area this afternoon, and consider alternative routes if at all possible.

‘More event information is available from National Highways by visiting our www.trafficengland.com website and travel apps. Our 24-hour customer contact center is also available to provide up-to-date information on 0300 123 5000. ‘

Gloucestershire police tweeted: ‘Lanes 1 and 2 are closed on the M5 NB lane between the J9 for Tewkesbury and the J8 for the M50 interchange.

‘It is due to a hole in the other lane – several cars have been damaged. This is expected to cause delays / setbacks – motorists are advised to seek alternative routes. ‘

Elsewhere, a private vehicle was left completely destroyed after it burned on the hard shoulder of the westbound M4 just before 3.30pm on Saturday.

The small car was left '100 percent destroyed' by the flames, according to the Dorset and Wiltshire fire department

The small car was left ‘100 percent destroyed’ by the flames, according to the Dorset and Wiltshire fire department

Firefighters from Swindon and Newbury stations rushed to the scene at 3.30pm after reports of a small vehicle fire on the M4 to the west between junctions 14 and 15

Firefighters from Swindon and Newbury stations rushed to the scene at 3.30pm after reports of a small vehicle fire on the M4 to the west between junctions 14 and 15

The small car was left ‘100 percent destroyed’ by the flames, but the driver remarkably managed to escape the fire, according to the Dorset and Wiltshire fire department.

On the M4, dramatic photographs showed queues of traffic at complete standstill for more than a mile as smoke billowed into the air further up the highway.

Firefighters from Swindon and Newbury stations rushed to the scene at 3.30pm after reports of a small vehicle fire on the M4 heading west between junction 14 to Hungerford and junction 15 to Swindon.

The driver and passengers of the car miraculously escaped the fire, with the Dorset and Wiltshire fire brigade confirming that no injuries were reported.

National Highways South East closed two out of three lanes between intersections 14 and 15 while the fire was being dealt with.

At 5 p.m., just an hour and a half after the fire, there were delays of about 30 minutes and 1.5 miles of congestion on the approach to the fire.

The driver and passengers of the car miraculously escaped the fire.  All occupants were accounted for and away from the car at the time, firefighters confirmed

The driver and passengers of the car miraculously escaped the fire. All occupants were accounted for and away from the car at the time, firefighters confirmed

Dramatic photographs showed queues of traffic in complete standstill on the M4 when smoke was seen waving in the air further up the highway

Dramatic photographs showed queues of traffic in complete standstill on the M4 when smoke was seen waving in the air further up the highway

National Highways South East closed two out of three lanes between intersections 14 and 15 while the fire was being dealt with.  The courses have since reopened

National Highways South East closed two out of three lanes between intersections 14 and 15 while the fire was being dealt with. The courses have since reopened

All lanes were reopened at 5.40pm, while there are still delays of around 10 minutes in the area, according to Highways England.

Two pumps, one from the Swindon Fire Department and one from Newbury, watched the fire and used a hose reel to put out the flames. They left the place just after noon.

Traffic is expected to have cleared the motorway from around 5.30pm, travel updates from Highways England said.

A Twitter statement from Newbury Fire Station said: ‘JY04P1 is currently involved in a car fire on the M4 westbound J14 to 15 with @SwindonFireStn. Expect delays! ‘

A spokesman for National Highways South East said: ‘We were called at. 15.30 today to a fire in a small vehicle on the M4a West Membury Service.

‘A crew from Swindon participated along with apparatus from the Oxfordshire FRS.

‘On arrival the crews found a car well underway, two respirators used a hose reel to put out the fire but the vehicle was completely destroyed.

‘The stop message came in at 16.45, and crews left the place just after kl. No injuries were reported. ‘

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