MANY motorists were caught up in motorway chaos yesterday following a fatal crash involving two lorries and a van on the southbound section of the M5 near Stroud.
Police confirmed that one of the lorry drivers had died, but were unable to release details as the next of kin had not yet been notified.
Commuters were warned to either delay their journey or to find another route after the road was closed between the Stroud junction for the A419 and the B4509 junction for Thornbury by police after the crash, which happened shortly after 4am.
A circular diversion was put in place which saw all drivers leave the motorway at junction 13 and onto the A38 southbound to rejoin the motorway at junction 14. The air ambulance provided help at the scene.
Police also closed the entry slip road onto the M5 southbound at junction 12.
The road was initially expected to be closed for approximately four hours, but had fully reopened by 11.30am. Queues stretched back to junction 12 as a result of the closure. Dave Seed. who runs Acour couriers in Quedgeley, said: “Luckily I am in the position where I can sub-contract delivery work so if I see there are problems on the road, I can give those areas a wide berth.
“It has been a particularly bad day on the motorways and would have caused a lot of problems. I’ve been driving for more than 30 years and the standard of motorway driving has definitely got worse.
“I regularly see lorries pulling out on a slip road or trying to overtake when going up a hill. It is dangerous and it is no wonder there are serious accidents.”
John Gough, a driving instructor in Gloucester, said: “Thankfully I didn’t get caught up in the traffic. I wouldn’t say the standard of motorway driving has dropped, but lorry drivers are an elite bunch and if they stick to their limit they are usually pretty safe.”