A LORRY fire brought a busy Hampshire motorway to a standstill.

The truck had been travelling inside roadworks on the M3 when the tractor it was carrying burst into flames last night.

The flames towered above the vehicle and spread to a nearby fence and huge plumes of thick black smoke could be seen for miles.

Fire crews from across the county, including from Portchester and Fleet attended the scene.

Portchester fire crew reported using breathing apparatus, jets and Environmental Agency (EA) packs which can be used to soak up oil.

Motorists were stuck in delays of more than three hours after the westbound (southbound) carriageway were closed between junctions 4 at Camberley and 4a at Farnborough along with the entry slip road at junction 4 from the A327.

Drivers were diverted via the A331, A30 and the A327.

One of the lanes reopened at about 6pm – two hours after the fire began.

Daily Echo:

Highways England warned drivers to find alternate routes and said they expected long delays into the evening.

They released a statement saying “The M3 westbound (southbound) has re-opened between junctions 4 and 4a following a lorry fire within the roadworks.

“Although the carriageway has since re-opened, two lanes still remain closed for vehicle recovery, road surface inspection, clean-up and repairs.

“We are working hard to make further lanes available at the earliest opportunity, but for the moment, only one lane is open to traffic.

“Consequently, please allow plenty of extra time to complete your journey or consider alternative routes to avoid long delays.”

It’s not clear what caused the blaze.