A LORRY stacked with tonnes of booze caught fire close to Junction 9 of the M40 near Bicester and closed the carriageway.

There were long delays due to the fire this morning, with queues stretching back for more than 10 miles in both directions.

The Eddie Stobart lorry was between J10 for Brackley and J9 for Bicester on the southbound carriageway when flames erupted at about 11.45am.

Thames Valley Police closed the carriageway southbound to all traffic to help emergency services extinguish the fire.

It reopened about 1.10pm and several lanes remained closed for recovery into the evening.

The closure caused traffic to build up on both sides of the carriageway and drivers reported long delays.

Bicester Advertiser:

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said that four pumps from Bicester, Kidlington and Banbury fire stations attended the scene, along with a specialist water carrier from Wheatley fire station.

A total of 20 calls were made by members of the public to Thames Valley Fire Control in just 7 minutes.

Station Manager Guy Dunkley who attended the incident said: “One lane of the southbound carriageway was opened as soon as the fire was under control to enable the trapped traffic to get back on the move.

"The lorry was carrying approximately 26 tonnes of bottled beer, meaning that there was a significant amount of broken glass around the lorry.

"All of the agencies on scene have worked extremely well together to do everything possible to minimise the impact to the travelling public.”

The incident continued for hours with specialist recovery firms in attendance, and a number of grab lorries assisting Highways England to remove the broken bottles from the road.