SAFETY inspectors have carried out checks on the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge after a major vehicle fire.

Traffic on the westbound side of the bridge was brought to a standstill on Wednesday evening after a lorry caught fire.

Nobody was injured in the blaze, but the vehicle - which was reportedly carrying 24 crates of wine - was engulfed in the flames.

Avon and Somerset Police, which dealt with traffic management, closed the carriageway so fire crews could extinguish the fire.

Meanwhile, the lorry was recovered by around 8pm and debris removed from the road.

While the emergency services were at the scene, long queues of traffic built up on the eastern side of the bridge, with some reports of five miles of tailbacks.

One reader told the Argus on social media it had taken him "five hours and 40 minutes to get from Avonmouth to Newport".

South Wales Argus: Picture: Paul WilliamsPicture: Paul Williams

One lane was reopened first, following by a full opening of the bridge at around 9.30pm.

The incident meant a planned overnight closure of the M48 Severn Bridge was postponed "for several hours to accommodate traffic", a spokesperson for National Highways (formerly Highways England) said.

Bridge engineers have visited the scene of the fire and confirmed the road surface and the bridge structure are safe, a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police added.