M25 crossing reopens after alert
Motorists faced severe delays on the M25 after police were forced to close the Dartford Crossing in both directions due to a security alert.
Drivers were caught in nine-mile long tailbacks after both the QE2 Bridge and Dartford Tunnels were closed for almost seven hours during rush-hour traffic, as bomb disposal experts investigated a suspicious item.
Officers had been called to the crossing at 4pm on Friday following a report of a male pedestrian behaving unusually, Kent Police said. He was arrested and remains in police custody.
The crossing remained closed until shortly before 11pm when the suspicious item was found not to pose a threat.
A coach was also stopped on the A20 in Dover as part of the investigation. Police later confirmed that no items had been found and no further arrests were made.
A Kent Police spokesman said earlier: "Police were called to the Dartford Crossing at 4pm today following a report that a male pedestrian was behaving unusually.
"The male has been arrested. Officers have located a suspicious item and have closed the crossing whilst inquiries continue. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams are on the scene at the Dartford Crossing and are in the process of assessing the situation so appropriate action can be taken."
Confirming the crossing was to reopen, he added: "It has been confirmed that the item of interest does not pose a threat.
"Inquiries have concluded on the scene and the Highways Agency and Kent Police are in the process of reopening the Dartford River Crossing. Kent Police would like to thank motorists for their patience and support during what must have been a very frustrating wait."
Photographs posted on social networking site Twitter showed long queues of stationary traffic with many commuters standing outside their vehicles.