A BLAZING car transporter on the M4 halted traffic between junctions 16 and 17 this morning.

It is believed that driver of the lorry is unhurt but the entire cargo of vans and cars was destroyed in the fire.

One lane of the M4 westbound has now been reopened while two remain closed for on-going recovery and clean-up work following the fire.

Earlier Wiltshire Police warned drivers not to reverse up slip roads to escape the temporary road block.

"We would ask drivers to remain patient and not attempt to reverse up slip roads or turn around on the motorway," a spokesman said.

"This is causing hazards for the emergency services attending and other road users."

Firefighters from Westlea, Swindon, Royal Wootton Bassett, Ramsbury and Chippenham were at the scene.

Recovery of the burnt-out vehicles and the transporter is ongoing and will continue into the evening peak.

Once recovery is complete, Highways England will resurface a fire-damaged 50-metre section of lane 1 and the hard shoulder overnight tonight. 

Traffic conditions are not expected to return to normal until about 8pm.

  • 10.35am - Highways England say all lanes eastbound are now open 
  • 11.20am - Westbound traffic is being allowed to pass in lane three but Highways England warn drivers to be patient 

"Highways England and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are working hard to reopen the westbound carriageway as soon as it safe to do so, and lane 3 is expected to be opened to release traffic past the scene of the incident," said a Highways England spokesman.

"HGVs are currently being diverted via junction 15, while all other traffic is being diverted off junction 16 via local roads."

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