Published On: Sat, Sep 23rd, 2017

M3 CLOSED: Police at scene as 1,000s stranded ahead of Southampton-Manchester United clash

The incident between Junctions nine and 11 near Winchester has left thousands of motorists stranded on the motorway and surrounding roads.

Hampshire Constabulary said its police officers are working with fire crews and the Ministry of Defence’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team to probe the material.

Eyewitnesses said that a hazardous response unit was at the scene.

And it comes as thousands of football fans make their way to watch Manchester United play at Southampton.

Police were first called to the motorway at 4am – and Highways England has advised motorists that there will be severe delays and traffic is likely to be heavy.

 

Hampshire Police said: “Police were called at 3.49am to reports of potential hazardous material in the road.

“Our officers are working alongside partners from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team to establish exactly what it is.

“Nobody has been hurt in the incident.

“The road is still closed at this time, and we will endeavour to get the material cleared as soon as possible.”

 

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ”We will endeavour to get the material cleared as soon as possible.”

Highways England issued a warning to motorists that the motorway will remain closed for several hours.

It also warned football fans travelling to the Southampton match against Manchester United that they would face “heavy traffic”.

Hampshire County Council’s travel information provider Romanse described all roads to Winchester as being “gridlocked”.

Motorists who were caught up in heavy traffic took to Twitter to vent their frustration.

Jim Hall tweeted: “Stuck at Winchester Services M3 South, if the roads been closed since 4am why did they let us on if no way of getting off.”

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