Motorway closed after police discover hazardous material

The M3 had to be closed in both directions following the discovery.

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REPORT: Police criticised after M3 closure

Police have been criticised for not revealing more information about a "mysterious" flammable material that sparked an 11-hour closure of the M3.

Thousands of motorists were caught up in long queues when it was shut on Saturday between junctions nine and 11.

Some were trapped for more than eight hours and said more could have been done to keep them informed.

Rachel Hepworth spoke to some of those caught up in the chaos, and former Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Simon Hayes.

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Motorway re-opened after hours of delays

Thousands of motorists have been stranded for hours today after the M3 motorway was closed - by what police have described as "potentially hazardous material" in the carriageway.

The stretch between junctions nine and eleven near Winchester was sealed off shortly before four o'clock this morning. It has resulted in traffic chaos across a wide area of Hampshire, as Richard Slee reports.

Stuck for more than 5 hours on M3

Lucy Thomas has been stuck on the M3 for five hours.

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Southbound M3 remains closed

Highways England is urging motorists around Winchester to plan ahead and leave extra time for their journeys as the northbound M3, for traffic travelling towards London, has now reopened between junctions 11 and 9 but traffic remains slow, and the southbound M3 remains closed.

The motorway was closed in both directions this morning after Hampshire Police were alerted to potential hazardous material just before 4am today, with traffic trapped within the closure released by 7am this morning.

Police and emergency services are continuing their investigations on the southbound carriageway, which remains closed between junctions 9 and 11. Southbound traffic continues to be diverted to follow the solid triangle symbol route.

Severe delays are anticipated in the area until at least 6pm. and drivers further afield are advised to use alternative routes if possible.

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