Surfboards, a go kart and bouncy castle were among the items found on the region’s major roads in the past year.

Highways England revealed some of the more unusual objects strewn across the road during crashes or after they fell from vehicles.

The government agency has urged drivers to make sure loads like trailers or top boxes are firmly secured in order to prevent them falling into the road.

Mark Snell, on road team manager for Highways England, said: “We have had fence panels, a shed, tools, tool boxes, motorcycle bags and top boxes – the whole contents of one family’s top box was spread all over three lanes as they were on their way to a holiday in the West Country.”

In the last 12 months, almost 2,100 objects were retrieved from the M4. They included a go kart and what appeared to be part of a bouncy castle, which spilled from a trailer-load of fairground equipment on the M4 between Bath and Bristol. Two lanes of the motorway had to be shut so firefighters and traffic officers could collect the party gear.

Across the south west, there were more than 1,000 incidents where builders’ materials had to be retrieved from the roads between June 2019 and April 2020. Traffic officers were sent out on 395 occasions to clear household or garden items from the region’s roads.

Tragedy nearly struck on the M6 near Staffordshire when a piece of metal came off a passing lorry and hit a construction worker in the leg. He did not suffer any injury.

Rob Penney, Highways England’s south west network operations manager, added: “Shed loads can close a road for several hours as well as putting people at risk, so our advice is simple: Secure your load before you set out. It could prevent an accident and save lives.”