THE M4 has reopened in both directions between Bath and Chippenham after two fatal crashes saw it closed for most of the day.

The eastbound carriageway reopened earlier at around 1pm and the westbound fully reopened around 5.40pm.

Two men died in separate crashes on either side of the motorway between junctions 17 and 18 in the early hours of this morning.

The first crash happened at 1.30am and involved one car on the eastbound carriageway. A man was pronounced dead at the scene and another was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol with life-threatening head injuries. 

Two hours later a second crash between two articulated lorries, a car and a van happened on the westbound carriageway in the same area.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene with two more taken to Southmead Hospital. 

Highways England regional operations manager Izzy Evans, said: “We would like to thank drivers for their patience throughout today.

“We have been working hard with the police during these difficult incidents and having recovered the vehicles safely reopened the M4.

“It is likely there will still be some congestion into the evening and I would advise anyone wishing to use the M4 to plan their journeys and allow additional time if needed.”