Hampshire Police apologise after 11-hour M3 closure

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A POLICE force has apologised after facing criticism for an 11-hour closure of a motorway.

Hampshire Police closed the M3 near Winchester on Saturday after a flammable substance was thrown from a motorway bridge.

Drivers were left stranded between Junction 9 and 11 and early tests indicated that it was a flammable but not explosive substance thrown from near St Catherine’s Hill.

Simon Hayes, former Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said the public should have been given more information.

He said: ‘I would hope there is a jolly good reason for the motorway to be closed. There’s been nothing from the PCC and the whole thing is very mysterious.’

Supt Simon Dodds said in response: ‘We had to establish what the substance was to make sure it was safe and that was against the backdrop of the current terror threat assessment in the UK at the moment, which is severe. We recognise it caused significant disruption for people caught in the traffic and we really do apologise.’

The apology follows a video statement by Chief Inspector Mark Lynch, District Commander for Winchester, published by police on Sunday afternoon.