M3 Closure Both Directions Hampshire Saturday 23rd September 2017

The M3 in Hamp­shire was closed in both direc­tions between J9 and J11 due to a sus­pi­cious pack­age being reported on the south­bound car­riage­way. South Cen­tral Ambu­lance Ser­vices were first on scene and quickly requested atten­dance for other emer­gency services.

At approx­i­mately 03:52 on Sat­ur­day 23rd Sep­tem­ber our South East Regional Con­trol Cen­tre (SERCC) were alerted to debris in the car­riage­way between J10 and J11 by Ambu­lance Ser­vices who were already on scene. At 03:55 SERCC set lanes 1 and 2 closed on the Vari­able Mes­sage Signs (VMS) to advise motorists trav­el­ling through that loca­tion. Hamp­shire Fire & Res­cue arrived on scene at 03:56 and imme­di­ately began to make a risk assess­ment of what the debris or pack­age was.

SERCC advised our National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre (NTOC) in Birm­ing­ham of this emerg­ing inci­dent and began to con­sider the impli­ca­tions on traf­fic head­ing to the area. At 03:59 High­ways Eng­land Traf­fic Offi­cers imple­mented a rolling road block on approach to the inci­dent. The road was now blocked with 2 Fire Crews on scene, 1 Ambu­lance, 1 Police Unit and a Traf­fic Offi­cer vehi­cle.
At 4:04 our National Inci­dent Liai­son Offi­cer tweeted the inci­dent to our High­waysSEAST twit­ter page to high­light the inci­dent on social media. At 04:50 it was decided by Senior Offi­cers at scene to close the road as spe­cial­ist teams such as the Haz­ardous Mate­ri­als Branch from Hamp­shire Fire & Res­cue would need to attend. In addi­tion at this stage lanes 2 & 3 were also closed on the east­bound car­riage­way. Traf­fic Offi­cers began rear­ward relief to vehi­cles stuck within the clo­sure at 05:01 where traf­fic is turned at scene and allowed to travel back to the junc­tion and exit the road.

As there is no tac­ti­cal diver­sion between J10 and J11 due the sur­round­ing road net­work our SERCC had no choice but to instruct the road to be closed at J9. This would allow traf­fic to fol­low our Solid Tri­an­gle diver­sion route where motorists would use the A272, A31, Morestead Road, Haze­ley Road and the B3335 to negate the inci­dent. At 05:10 the NILO added details of the diver­sion route to Break­ing News on all High­ways Eng­land web­sites and our High­waysSEAST twit­ter feed.
At 05:23 it was decided in the inter­ests of safety to close the east­bound car­riage­way between J11 and J9. SERCC informed Win­ches­ter City Coun­cil at 06:02 to expected addi­tional traf­fic on their road net­work due to the ongo­ing M3 incident.

At 07:04 the Explo­sive Ord­nance Dis­posal (EOD) arrived on scene from the Min­istry of Defence (MOD) with the Ambu­lance Haz­ardous Area Res­cue Team arriv­ing shortly after at 07:33. The On duty NILO noti­fied the Depart­ment For Trans­port (DFT) Dan­ger­ous Goods Branch at 10:18 of the ongo­ing inci­dent and nature of it. EOD were able to con­firm at 11:09 that the pack­age posed no immi­nent threat how­ever fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tions would be required.

At 13:24 after exten­sive inves­ti­ga­tion it was deemed safe to re-open the east­bound car­riage­way and our SERCC amended their clo­sure sig­nals to 50mph restric­tions due to con­ges­tion in the area. At this point the National Traf­fic Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre set VMS to advise M3 J11 – J9 | NOW OPEN. At 15:27 OUR Traf­fic Offi­cers were given the all clear to re-open the south­bound car­riage­way by EOD and Hamp­shire Police as the pack­age had been safely removed.

High­ways Eng­land would like to thank our all of our cus­tomers who were affected by this inci­dent for their patience and under­stand­ing throughout.