THIS crash on the A40 is why you need to only travel if the journey is essential, says Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Police and an ambulance were called to the collision in the North Cotswolds on Saturday evening.

Hereford Times:

Fortunately nobody was seriously injured, but the incident has prompted officers to warn people not to drive unless their journey is essential, during the ‘lockdown’ to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “This is why you need to only travel if the journey is essential. Thankfully no one was injured, amazingly.

“This took up valuable NHS, St John’s Ambulance and police resources. Stay home save lives.”

Police have issued a warning to families not to break lockdown rules as the Easter holidays get underway.

The message comes as Gloucestershire police revealed that tourists are continuing to flout government rules and travel to the Cotswolds with a number of incidents reported within the district.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given police the power to enforce fines for those ignoring the advice during the coronavirus pandemic.

The force issued its first fine to a group of people ignoring social distancing rules on Saturday.

Two men and a woman from Manchester were issued with £60 penalties after being caught on the M5 travelling to Bristol to buy a car.

Over the weekend in Bibury, The Cotswold Neighbourhood Team ordered four separate groups who were flouting the rules to go home.

Police say they had travelled from as far away as London and Portsmouth.

The Cotswold Neighbourhood Team also spoke to six bikers on Sunday who had travelled from Birmingham.

They explained to the bikers that it was not essential travel and encouraged them to go home immediately.

On Monday, officers were called to Bourton-on-the-Water after barbecues were held near a nature reserve.

Nine people were also fined on Monday as the police’s specialist operations team stopped 66 vehicles during the day in Gloucestershire.

Police say excuses included visiting friends, seeing a girlfriend and heading for a takeaway with a large group in the car.

One incident involved someone buying a new car, and then crashing it into a garden.

Inspector Dan Wakeford said: “Our approach has been that officers will engage with motorists to establish why they are travelling, explain the risks to public health, encourage people to consider if they need to travel and then consider enforcement when people have refused to take the advice on board.

“Our teams have been polite but inquisitive, alert and sensitive to other potential reasons why people may be travelling.

“Where appropriate we have asked for letters explaining that the person is a key worker and people have been happy for us to do this.

“Please continue to act responsibly as my officers will be out in force on our roads in the week ahead.

“And with next weekend being the Easter weekend please remember you should not be travelling anywhere to go on holiday or a day trip.”