M5 fuel protest today: latest traffic news as protesters cause delays on motorway - which areas are affected?

Fuel protests are causing delays on the M5

Motorists on the M5 are facing delays due to a protest on the motorway.

Protesters are carrying out action across the M4, M5 and M32 today (22 July).

It comes as millions of cars are expected to hit the roads for the great summer getaway this weekend.

RAC is predicting 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday.

Here is all you need to know about the traffic on the M5.

What are the fuel protests?

A group called Fuel Price Stand Against Tax is organising a “slow-moving roadblock” on major roads including the M5.

It is in protest over the high price of fuel in recent weeks and months.

Figures from data company Experian show the average price of a litre of petrol on Wednesday was 187.5p, while diesel was 196.1p.

Where are the protests taking place?

The first stage of Friday’s action in the South West will see vehicles travel north on the M5 between Bridgwater and the Almondsbury Interchange from about 8.45am, then east along the M4 and to Junction 1 of the M32.

The convoy is expected to leave the motorway and stop “for a period of time” before completing the same route in reverse, arriving back in Bridgwater “in the early afternoon”, police said.

A second group of protesters is planning to drive slowly to the Shell petrol station in Bristol Road, Bridgwater.

M5 motorway. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

What are the current delays on M5?

AA traffic is showing ‘severe’ delays on the M5 Southbound between M49 and J21 A370 (Weston-Super-Mare). Average speed 20 mph.

There are also delays on the on M5 Southbound between J21 A370 (Weston-Super-Mare) and Strowland Lane (Sedgemoor Services) and delays of two minutes between J20 B3133 Ettlingen Way (Clevedon) and J21 A370 (Weston-Super-Mare).

Drivers are also warned they face ‘severe delays’ of 17 minutes and delays easing on M5 Northbound between J22 (Burnham-On-Sea) and Strowland Lane (Sedgemoor Services). Average speed five mph.

There are also delays of seven minutes on M5 Southbound between Strowland Lane (Sedgemoor Services) and J23 A39 (Bridgwater North). Average speed 25 mph.

What have police said?

Superintendent Tony Blatchford of Avon and Somerset Police urged drivers to consider “alternative travel plans” due to the pump price protests.

He said: “Our protest liaison team has been engaging with the organiser so we can inform the public of the likely disruption and help to minimise it.

“Nevertheless, drivers can expect journey times will likely be longer than normal, especially on motorways, which often tend to be at their busiest at this time of year.

“We advise motorists to consider any alternative travel plans available and ensure they are suitably prepared in case they are delayed.”

Fuel price protests on July 4 led to 12 people being arrested on the M4.

The convoy is expected to leave the motorway and stop “for a period of time” before completing the same route in reverse, arriving back in Bridgwater “in the early afternoon”, police said.

When was the M5 built and how long is it?

The M5 links the Midlands with the South West.

It runs from junction 8 of the M6 at West Bromwich near Birmingham to Exeter in Devon.

The motorway is 162.9 miles in length.

It was opened in 1962 and was completed in 1977.

The primary destinations along the M5 are:

  • West Bromwich
  • Birmingham
  • Bromsgrove
  • Worcester
  • Cheltenham
  • Gloucester
  • Bristol
  • Weston-super-Mare
  • Bridgwater
  • Taunton
  • Exeter