Loose horses close motorway for third time in as many weeks

  • A major motorway was forced to close lanes three times in as many weeks after horses strayed onto the road.

    Police shut parts of the M4 near Swansea on 9 October, 15 October and 24 October due to loose horses on the carriageway.

    Police closed two lanes after horses were spotted grazing behind a crash barrier at junction 45 on 9 October.

    Traffic was held on 15 October due to a horse on the road near junction 44.

    On 24 October, South Wales Police urged drivers to “use an alternative route” due to a loose horse between junctions 46 and 47.

    A spokesman for Swansea Council told H&H the incidents were not connected.

    He added animal wardens were called to two of the three M4 incidents, plus another incident on the A48.

    “When stray horses become loose on major roads such as the M4, it is a matter for the police to deal with,” he said.

    “The council’s animal wardens will respond and assist when asked to by the police and if it is safe to do so.

    Recently we’ve been called to three unconnected incidents, one on the A48 and two on the M4. No horse was found on the A48.

    One of the M4 incidents was an accidental escape. After the horse was impounded the owner came forward to collect.

    “In the other case the horse was made safe by returning to its field.”

    A Welsh Government spokesman told WalesOnline that it repaired a broken fence after the first incident and planned to do a “full inspection of the area” after the second escape.

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    A spokesman for South Wales Police told H&H it is not in their remit to investigate further.

    “Police were involved in order to manage the traffic and to ensure the safety of the public and the horse,” said a spokesman for the force.

    “However, we are not the lead agency and we would not investigate this incident.

    “The matter of straying animals is normally an issue for the local authority.”

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