A LORRY driver was kidnapped at knife point in a terrifying hijack on a major Hampshire road.

The hijack happened after what seemed to be a road rage incident on the A31 in the New Forest.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the incident last night as they urge other lorry drivers to be vigilant.

They say between 7.30pm and 8.30pm a woman driver flashed her headlights at a Southampton-bound 40 foot white unmarked articulated lorry.

The driver, a 36-year-old Hertfordshire man, pulled into a lay-by between Picket Post and junction one of the M27 at Cadnam.

The woman driver who was white and in her twenties, wearing black leggings and a dark top, accused the lorry driver of damaging her mid-blue saloon car, and they started to argue.

But then a white vehicle pulled up behind the lorry, and several men got out.

One man threatened the lorry driver with a knife and forced him to drive his own lorry towards Oxfordshire.

The man was described as at least six feet tall, stocky, with short dark hair and wearing a boiler suit.

The lorry was later recovered in Northamptonshire, near junction 18 of the M1.

Its cargo was missing but the driver was not injured.

Detective Inspector Ellie Hurd, of Western Area CID, said police want to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident in the lay-by. She said: “We particularly want to hear from anyone who was driving along this section of the A31 between 7.30pm and 8.30pm, if they think they witnessed this incident.

“Passing motorists may have thought they were witnessing a road rage incident between the drivers of the lorry and the other vehicles in the lay-by. It would appear that this was simply a means to bring about the hi-jacking of the lorry.”

Det Insp Hurd added: “We also want to alert lorry drivers to this situation and warn them to be wary of any similar incidents. Our advice to them would be to stay in the cab with the doors locked.”

“I also want to reassure the public that, at this time, we believe this to be an isolated incident.”

Anyone who saw the vehicles in the lay-by or who witnessed the altercation is asked to contact Det Insp Hurd at Southampton Central on 101 or call the Crimestoppers anonymous charity line on 0800 555 111. Minicom users should ring 01962 875000.