CARAVANS were the bane of Swindon motorists’ journeys yesterday as two incidents within an hour of each other brought the M4 to a halt between Junctions 14 and 17.

The first of the road traffic collisions occurred shortly after 9.30am, with another one hour later, before emergency services were called to a third incident in Cheney Manor Industrial Estate before 11am.

The motorway was first brought to a grinding halt by a collision involving two Ford Kas and a caravan, which closed all three lanes for almost an hour whilst a clean-up operation took place.

One of the cars left the road and the other had jacknifed on its side with the caravan blocking the full width of the road. There were two casualties from the incident with one woman taken to Great Western Hospital by ambulance as a precaution and the other discharged at the scene by paramedics.

The second collision involved a Range Rover and a caravan at 10.39am, which became separated after the former hit the central reservation a short distance east of Junction 15 on the westbound carriageway.

It is not known how the 4x4 came to lose control, but it came to rest in lane three, facing traffic, with no casualties. The police did not record how many people were travelling in the vehicle.

The caravan, meanwhile, had detached at such speed it sped across the full width of the motorway, past moving traffic, and ended across the hard shoulder and lane one.

Wiltshire Police attended and put a moving road block in place for less than 10 minutes while the Range Rover was recovered from the outside lane.

At 10.57am emergency services were called to Swindon Council’s household recycling centre where a two vehicle road traffic collision had taken place.

In what was a minor incident, a red Honda Civic and gray Citroen C1 had made contact. A Swindon Council spokesman said one car had reversed into the other.

There were no injuries, but an ambulance was called for a 25-year-old female driver, who was pregnant. She did not require any lengthy treatment and was discharged at the scene.

Meanwhile, at the weekend officers in Royal Wootton Bassett were called to deal with two teenagers from the town, who caused serious damage to a unit in Whitehill Industrial Estate.

One female teenager insured on a red Citroen C1 allowed her friend, who wasn’t insured, behind the wheel and he proceeded to put the car into the nearest wall, causing substantial, structural damage to the building.

Police said the female was allowing her male passenger the chance to learn how to drive. They have both been reported for insurance offences.