Last updated Friday, 7pm.

**Road reopen as of about 12.30am on Saturday.

THE A34 was closed southbound until 10pm after an early morning HGV crash and large diesel spillage.

The closure, which began on Friday morning, continued throughout the day and evening, with the road needing to be resurfaced after the diesel spill.

To make matters worse, a diversion route through Wolvercote was gridlocked, with residents and motorists reporting massive delays and fears that HGVs could get stuck. 

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(Above: Traffic stuck in Wolvercote around 6.30pm on Friday)

Highways England said 'extensive' surfacing work was needed after 500 litres of fuel covered the road. 

About 100m of road surface has been damaged and contractors were on site yesterday afternoon.

Long queues have snaked back to beyond Islip all day.

And to make matters worse, a lorry and a car crashed on the official diversion route via the A44 as rush hour began. READ THE REPORT HERE 

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The A34 was closed between Peartree and Botley and trapped traffic was turned around by Highways England and roads police.

Highways England, which operates the road, pleaded with drivers to be patient as it took 'a little while' to get everyone out of the queue.

Queues back up beyond Kidlington to Islip and the delay was estimated at about one hour.

Staff said traffic was 'nose to tail' and limited space on the road means it wasn't easy to free all the vehicles stuck in the queue behind the fuel spillage. 

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The road block at Peartree - pic. Walter Cundy

Queues also built up during rush hour on the Northern and Eastern Bypass as drivers took the diversion to rejoin the A34 at Hinksey.

Other routes into and around Oxford were also heavier than usual.

Reader Chris Maddison said that some traffic is being channeled through the small village of Wytham, which he said 'can't cope with the number of cars'. 

Firefighters were seen walking along the carriageway inspecting the road, the surface of which which degraded due to the diesel.

Recovery of the lorries was carried out in the run-up to lunchtime.

One driver stuck in the queue a mile from Peartree said he hadn't moved at all in 45 minutes, and another said it took well over an hour to reach the ring road from Woodstock.


A similar incident closed the A34 slightly further north in June, when a fuel spill caused the stretch between Peartree and the M40 to be shut for most of the day.

Read it again here 

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DIVERSION: Highways England has advised drivers to head east along the ring road and rejoin the A34 at Hinksey.

  • Follow the Solid Triangle on the A44 towards Wolvercote and Headington onto the A4142 Eastern By Pass and the A423 Southern By-Pass to re-join at Hinksey Interchange