Road was closed between junctions 9 and 11 in Winchester, with motorists – including Red Devils fans – facing three-hour delays
Thousands of motorists have been caught in the chaos – between junctions 9 and 11 of the motorway – with delays of over three hours already on the cards.
Bomb disposal units were called to deal with an incident on the M3 on Saturday
The journey from Manchester to Southampton already takes four hours without delays.
Supporters may now miss the clash at St Mary’s altogether, with Highways England tweeting supporters about the news, with reports suggesting the road won’t clear until 5pm at the earliest.
With kick-off at 3pm, fans are unlikely to make it for the start of the game.
Cops were called to the scene shortly before 4am today with a hazardous area response unit, bomb squad and fire crews on the scene.
Hampshire Police said: “Police were called at 3.49am to reports of potential hazardous material in the road.
“Our officers are working alongside partners from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team to establish exactly what it is.
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Man United are likely to be playing in front of very few travelling fans after the chaos
Road users resorted to unusual methods to cope with the long delays
The M3 is barely moving after a bomb scare in the early hours of Saturday morning
“Nobody has been hurt in the incident.
“The road is still closed at this time, and we will endeavour to get the material cleared as soon as possible.”
On the gridlock, one road user said: “There are lots of people stranded here, people have got out of their cars to stretch their legs and things, but some are just turning round and going back down the hard shoulder.
“We actually spoke to police about this to see whether this was something we could do in the circumstances and they said ‘absolutely not’.
One driver even appeared to resort to playing some golf amid the gridlock
Man United fans are now set to miss the clash at Southampton
“They also said the delay had been quite well advertised, although none of the four of us in the car saw anything until we were in it.
“We’re one of the lucky ones, we’ve only been here for 40 minutes although we’ve basically only crawled forward into space probably left by those who are trying to turn around.
“I can’t think it’s a good idea to use the hard shoulder – there have been a couple of unmarked vehicles with sirens blaring coming up and using it, so it’s pretty dangerous if there are cars coming in the other direction.”
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