Road users are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys today following the closure of the M5 in both directions near Bristol.

A tipper lorry struck an overhead gantry on the southbound carriageway between junction 17 (Cribbs Causeway) and junction 18 (Avonmouth) at approximately 8.20am and due to the safety risk to drivers, the M5 has been fully closed Southbound and Northbound.

The incident has displaced matrix signage, severed electrical cables, while hydraulic fluid has also spilled on to the carriageway.

National Highways’ engineers are currently assessing damage to the overhead gantry, and during the closure, southbound traffic is being diverted via the M4 westbound to the M49 to rejoin the M5 at junction 18, with northbound traffic being diverted with northbound traffic diverted via the M49 to M4 junction 22 to rejoin the M5.

For local traffic, southbound diversions are also in place southbound via M5 junction 17 and northbound via junction 18.

Ray Morwood, South West Operations Manager for National Highways, said: “The M5 has been closed to protect the travelling public and we’re working as quickly as we can to assess the gantry damage and make safe the signage and fittings.

“The incident has occurred on a busy section of the M5, we are working with our police partners, and we appreciate this will cause significant delays to people’s journeys.

“In the meantime, we advise people to add a little extra time for their journeys, and to consider alternative routes where they can. We thank all drivers for their co-operation and patience and we’re working quickly to establish timescales for repair and recovery work.”

In the meantime, drivers can check live traffic conditions at or follow @HighwaysSWEST for updates.

According to Traffic England, the road is expected to clear between 18:00 and 18:15 today. Currently, this incident is causing delays of one hour.