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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK
Long delays after fatal M4 crash
Crash
The clear-up operation took most of the morning
Thousands of motorists faced long delays for most of Thursday after a fatal lorry crash on the M4 on the outskirts of Newport.

The driver died when his truck overturned after crashing into the motorway's central reservation between Malpas and High Cross at 0215 BST.

The M4 was shut in both directions between J28 (Tredegar Park) and J24 (Coldra) until lunchtime.

Delays affected other roads and continued into the evening rush hour.

At its worst, there were 10-mile tailbacks in the morning rush-hour.

There was a knock-on effect for other roads, with five mile tailbacks on the A449 southbound and congestion on the A48 during the evening peak.

However, problems had cleared by 1900 BST.

One lane remained closed and there was a speed restriction of 40mph between junction 27 (High Cross) and 28 (Tredegar Park).

Earlier, drivers heading south on the A449 were being diverted off the dual carriageway at Usk.

There was also queuing traffic on the motorway slip roads in both directions.

Slow traffic and long delays were also reported on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road and the A467 in Rogerstone as motorists looked for other routes to avoid the problems on the motorway.

Speed restriction

The lorry overturned and collided with the central barrier at 0217 BST on Thursday.

Around 60m of the central reservation was destroyed in the crash and that section of the motorway is not expected to be fully reopened until next Tuesday.

During recovery attempts, the vehicle partially disintegrated, which led to further delay. Fruit which the truck had been transporting also had to be cleared from the road.

The 55-year-old lorry driver from Hampshire, was trapped in the cab and subsequently died. An investigation is under way

Traffic jams of 10 miles eastbound and five miles westbound built up during the morning rush hour.

Queue of traffic on the M4 near Magor
Thousands of motorists were affected by the delays

A minor collision at junction 25 eastbound also added to traffic delays encountered by commuters.

Inspector Lee Ford from Gwent Police Roads Policing Unit said: "The closure of the road was necessary as we needed to preserve the scene in order for a thorough investigation to take place.

"It was of paramount importance that the road was made safe for motorists to use."

'Very frustrating'

Roger Harris, an area manager for the travel company Portman, told how it had taken him nearly three and a half hours to travel 20 miles of a 160-mile journey.

"I set off at quarter to seven this morning from my home in Penarth," he said.

"I'm trying to get to Fareham for a meeting. I was supposed to be there at half past nine and I'd given myself plenty of time.

Another motorist Iwan Thomas from Cardiff who is travelling to Caernarfon with a colleague said he had gone just three miles along the A48 in four hours on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Thomas said:"We've had nothing to eat, nothing to drink all day. We're going stir crazy."


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See the road gridlock which followed the M4 crash



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