This has subsequently caused the delay of an overnight closure of the Severn Bridge.
Here is everything you need to know; such as what happened on the Prince of Wales Bridge, why the Severn Bridge needs to be closed and is the bridge open as of Tuesday, 5 July.
What happened on the Prince of Wales Bridge?
A lorry fire was spotted on the roads of the Prince of Wales Bridge on Wednesday, 22 June 2022.
The blaze hit the vehicle, which was believed to have been carrying 24 pallets of wine, during the afternoon.
Traffic monitoring service Inrix states that the disruption took place on the westbound carriageway from J22 M49 to J23 M48 at approximately 3:21 pm.
This in-turn resulted in huge traffic congestion throughout the Bristol region, with multiple hour long queues of cars throughout the M4, M48 and M5.
Traffic which persisted until as late as 9:30 pm on Wednesday night.
Emergency services attend the scene, though Avon Fire and Rescue have confirmed that there were no injuries as a result of the fire.
As a result, travel was initially held and diverted onto the M48, but the Prince of Wales Bridge has since been reopened.
The backlog of congestion resulted in the planned overnight closure of the Severn Bridge to be delayed, decided by National Highways who posted the following statement on social media: “Due to the ongoing incident on the Westbound M4 Prince Of Wales bridge we have postponed the closure of the Westbound M48 bridge until we have fully opened the Prince of Wales bridge.”
When was the Severn Bridge supposed to close?
As per a number of reports, the bridge was scheduled to be closed overnight from Wednesday, 22 June into Thursday, 23 June.
Why does the Severn Bridge need to close?
The closure of the Severn Bridge is due to roadworks needed to assure the health and safety, as well as the stability of the structure.
Work will be done to repair what experts believe is ‘possible corrosion’ of the bridge’s cables.
Inspection gantries will be lifted to high levels on the suspension cables.
When will the Severn Bridge close?
National Highways have confirmed that the Severn Bridge will be closed over two weekends.
The first full closure - both ways - is planned for the weekend of June 25 to June 26.
Here is the full list of closure dates:
- Friday, 24 June at 7 pm until Monday, 27 June at 6 am - Eastbound and Westbound closed
- Friday, 1 July at 7 pm until Mondy, 4 July at 6 am - Eastbound and Westbound closed
- Monday, 4 July at 7 pm until Tuesday, 5 July at 6 am - Eastbound closed
- Tuesday, 5 July at 7 pm until Wednesday 6 July at 6 am - Eastbound closed
- Wednesday, 6 July at 7 pm until Thursday, 7 July at 6 am - Westbound closed
- Thursday, 7 July at 7 pm until Friday, 8 July at 9 am - Westbound closed
Motorists will be diverted via the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge.
During the period of lane closures, vehicles of more than 2.9m width will not be allowed to use the bridge.
The closure of the Severn Bridge is also deemed ‘weather dependent’.
National Highways have advised motorists to ‘please allow extra time for your journeys’.
Is the Severn Bridge open today and what is the situation?
As of Tuesday, 5 July 2022, the Severn Bridge is open for motorists.
However, the eastbound carriageway is set to close at 7 pm this evening.
It will re-open on Wednesday, 6 July at 6 am.