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M1 northbound reopens after more than eight hours

Parts of the M1 have been deserted all day Credit: ITV Anglia

The M1 northbound has finally reopened after more than eight hours.

It was closed while police and emergency services investigated a suspicious object under a bridge at Newport Pagnell.

The object was discovered not to contain explosives.

Thousands of drivers were stationary in queues for hours. The southbound carriageway is still closed.

Drivers find time for football on M1

Bored drivers had games of football on the opposite carriageway Credit: @ChampBubblee

Frustrated travellers played football, frisbee and touch rugby on the M1 after police closed the motorway for hours.

Thousands sat in gridlock from at least 8am, when Thames Valley Police closed the three-lane motorway between junctions 14 and 15 because of a "suspicious object".

Liz Searle, chief executive at the Keech Hospice in Luton, said she had been impressed by the good humour of everyone trapped on the side of the road.

"Everybody was being so helpful and chatty and high-spirited," she said, "which is lovely to see despite the circumstances."

Mrs Searle escaped the gridlock when police began to turn traffic around.

A spokesman for Highways England said the amount of traffic trapped was "down to about three or four kilometres" from a previous high of six kilometres, but could not comment on the details of the "suspicious object".

One driver's hoody had an appropriate message Credit: @ChampBubblee
Bored drivers had games of football on the opposite carriageway Credit: @ChampBubblee

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Police say object on M1 does not contain explosives

The substance does not contain explosives Credit: ITV Anglia

Thames Valley Police say investigations have revealed the object that's closed the M1 for seven hours does not contain explosives.

Investigation by the EOD [explosive ordnance disposal] can confirm that there is no explosive element to the object found," said Thames Valley Police in a statement.

Investigators are continuing a chemical analysis of the object to determine its make-up.

Aerial footage showed a bomb disposal robot dragging a black rubbish bag off the hard shoulder, which appeared to have contained a liquid and yellow substance.

Trapped traffic on M1 being turned round

Traffic at a standstill on the M1 Credit: Stuart Paterson
Cars have been trapped on the M1 for hours Credit: Stuart Paterson
The M1 in Northampton is eerily quiet Credit: ITV Anglia

Traffic trapped on the M1 is being turned round so drivers can exit the motorway.

Highways England say it will take some time to release the drivers.

The road has been closed since just after 8am while emergency services investigate a suspicious object found under a bridge at Newport Pagnell.

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Some drivers already stuck on M1 for nearly two hours

Some drivers have already been trapped for nearly two hours Credit: Chantelle Hambridge

Thousands of drivers are trapped within the closures on the M1 while emergency services work to investigate the suspicious object.

Chantelle Hambridge says she's been stationary on the M1 for one hour and 40 minutes.

Highways England says work to release the trapped drivers will begin as soon as possible but is warning it has not yet started and will take time when it does begin.

The M1 in Northampton is eerily quiet Credit: ITV Anglia

There are reports that some people have left their cars and are walking back to junction 14 to use services at Newport Pagnell.

Some drivers say the road appears to have reopened Northbound but is still stuck going South.

Five mile queues due to M1 incident

There are warnings of five mile queues on the approaches to the M1 incident Credit: Highways England

Drivers trying to use the M1 are facing five mile queues as police investigate a suspicious object found under a bridge at Newport Pagnell.

National Express says 45 minutes is being added to travel times and coaches are being diverted.

Police confirm 'suspicious object' has closed M1 in both directions

Pictures from Highways Agency cameras show the queues Credit: Highways Agency

Police have confirmed the M1 has been closed while they investigate a suspicious object found under a bridge.

The road is closed in both directions at Newport Pagnell between junctions 14 and 15

Thames Valley police are urging the public to avoid the road.

They say a suspicious object was found underneath one of the motorway bridges between Junction 15 and 14 at around 7.30am this morning.

The M1 is currently closed in both directions between Junction 15 and 14, and diversions are in place in both Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.

The road closures are likely to be in place for some time while Thames Valley Police and the fire service investigate the matter.

M1 in Northamptonshire blocked both ways due to police incident

The M1 is closed in both directions between Northampton and Milton Keynes as police deal with an incident.

The road's shut between junctions 14 and 15. There are reports that police are investigating an unknown chemical substance.

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