THE M4 was closed in both directions between junctions 17 and 18 today because of concerns over a possible explosion after a fire involving a car and a trailer.

Highways England said the motorway was opened at about 1.15pm in both directions, with one lane closed eastbound to allow the car, which was gutted by the fire, to be removed.

Police were called just after 11am to the car, which contains LPG gas canisters, on the M4 eastbound.

The motorway was temporarily closed in both directions for safety reasons while the fire was dealt with.

Police advised drivers to seek alternative routes with traffic being diverted via the A350, A420 and A46.

It is not thought that anyone was hurt.

Highways England said traffic conditions were expected to return to normal on the M4 within Junction 18 between 2.30pm and 2.45pm.

On the motorway westbound, between junctions 16 and 17, traffic is expected to return to normal between 1.45-2pm.

And congestion on the M4 eastbound between junctions 19 and 18 is expected to ease after 1.45pm.

Swindon Advertiser:

  • Traffic delayed on the M4 in both directions after the vehicle fire on the eastbound carriageway. Picture by Google Maps

    Swindon Advertiser:

Access to the M4 eastbound at Junction 18 was closed today. Picture:

  • Highways England reported a crash on the M4 eastbound between junctions 17 and 16 this afternoon, which closed one lane. Traffic conditions were returning to normal after 4pm.