A34 Closure Abingdon Southbound, Oxfordshire. Thursday 26 February 2015

The south­bound A34 in Oxford­shire was closed for approx­i­mately 11 hours on Thurs­day 26 Feb­ru­ary due to an over­turned HGV which blocked the car­riage­way between the junc­tions of the A423 (the South Hinksey junc­tion) and the A415 (the Mar­cham junc­tion), caus­ing con­ges­tion in parts of nearby Oxford and Abingdon.

At 4:12am, the High­ways Agency was alerted by Thames Val­ley Police that a Heavy Goods Vehi­cle (HGV) had over­turned on the A34 south­bound near Sun­ning­well in Oxford­shire.  The HGV had come to rest on its side, obstruct­ing both lanes and pre­vent­ing traf­fic from being able to pass. Crews from Oxford­shire Fire and Res­cue ser­vice and South Cen­tral Ambu­lance Ser­vice also attended.

Thames Val­ley Police promptly closed the car­riage­way between the junc­tions of the A423 and the A415.  The High­ways Agency imme­di­ately dis­patched its con­trac­tors to assist the emer­gency ser­vices and began to alert the pub­lic by acti­vat­ing the road­side elec­tronic signs, issu­ing tweets on social media and pub­lish­ing infor­ma­tion on its web­site.  In addi­tion, our advi­sors work­ing 24 / 7 at our con­tact call cen­tre were on-hand and avail­able to assist cus­tomers.  Later in the day, the High­ways Agency also issued a Press Release.  You can read this Press Release by click­ing on the link below:


A num­ber of motorists found them­selves ‘trapped’ on the A34, unable to pass the scene of the acci­dent but by 6:51am, the police had released all of this trapped traffic.

Map of the A34 closure
Spe­cial­ist recov­ery trucks arrived at the scene and by 8:45am, the over­turned HGV had been righted back onto its wheels.  How­ever, it was then iden­ti­fied that some of the drums of liq­uid chem­i­cals that the HGV had been trans­port­ing, were dam­aged and leak­ing a small amount of fluid.  Although there was no dan­ger to the pub­lic, it was nec­es­sary for spe­cial­ist HazChem units from the Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice to attend the scene of the acci­dent and deal with this problem.

Through­out the day, the High­ways Agency held a num­ber of tele­con­fer­ences with Oxford­shire county coun­cil, the emer­gency ser­vices, con­trac­tors and other part­ners to ensure that the inci­dent was resolved as quickly and as safely as possible.

A local diver­sion route using the solid black tri­an­gle diver­sion sig­nage directed cus­tomers who had been diverted-off the A34 at the South Hinksey junc­tion (A423), back to the A34 at the Mar­cham junc­tion (A415).

By 2:06pm, the chem­i­cal spill had all been treated, the load that was being trans­ported by the HGV had been secured and the over­turned HGV itself had been removed from the scene by the recov­ery trucks.  Con­trac­tors from the High­ways Agency then imme­di­ately set to work treat­ing the road sur­face and ensur­ing that it was safe for motorists to drive on.  The car­riage­way then re-opened at 3:07pm.

The High­ways Agency would like to thank cus­tomers for their patience dur­ing this pro­tracted inci­dent and to the res­i­dents of Abing­don and the sur­round­ing area, for the added con­ges­tion on local roads caused by this closure.

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