Families returning home from the UK coast this weekend faced delays of up to three hours after a major motorway link shut due to an ambulance fire. All three lanes of the M5 north along the six miles from Junction 21 to Junction 20 were closed for hours.

Queues tailed back a further eight miles to Sedgemoor Services near Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, after the ambulance caught fire. Dramatic photos shared on social media show the burnt-out wreckage of the emergency vehicle. Dawn Ellis, who drove southbound past the fire, said: “Tailbacks almost as far as Junction 23! Miles and miles. Lots of people out of cars wondering what’s going on.”

Another Twitter user posted: “If you’re heading home from Cornwall, take a different route.” The M5 north reopened at around 1.15pm but traffic remained extremely busy for another two hours afterwards while the ambulance got recovered.