SEVERE tailbacks stretched along both directions of the M4 after a multiple vehicle collision at around midday yesterday.

Both the eastbound and westbound carriageways between Junction 16 for Swindon West and Junction 17 for Chippenham were closed for around an hour while emergency services attended the scene of the five-car pile-up.

Shortly before 11am, two cars, a Ford Focus and a Skoda Fabia, had collided in the wet and slippery conditions, and the vehicles immediately behind were unable to avoid ploughing into the back of them.

Heavy delays had a knock-on effect to surrounding areas, particularly Royal Wootton Bassett following the closure of Dauntsey Bridge.

One woman, who had been trapped in her car, managed to extricate herself and was taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath for treatment.

Fortunately there were no serious injuries other than a group of walking wounded.

Three ambulances attended the scene along with police, who closed the road for around an hour for the recovery operation.

A spokesman for the South-Western Ambulance Service said: “We were called to a multiple car road traffic collision between Junctions 16 and 17 on the M4 at 10.53am.

“We dispatched three ambulances, and discovered a female who had suffered stomach and back injuries, and was taken to RUH in Bath for treatment.

“There were three other casualties, who were walking wounded. Two of them were taken to Great Western Hospital in Swindon to make sure they were ok.

“We left the scene at around 12.25pm, after around an hour and a half.”

Wiltshire Police remained at the scene while the cars were removed from the stretch of motorway after all the casualties had been dealt with.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “The crash was originally a two vehicle road traffic collision with a few other cars becoming involved afterwards.”

One lane of the M4 remained closed until 12.30pm for the recovery of the Ford Focus by around 1pm.