Home Business News 'Suspicious object' causes M1 closure near Milton Keynes

'Suspicious object' causes M1 closure near Milton Keynes


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Motorists have been stranded for hours after the discovery of a “suspicious object” forced the closure of the M1.The 11 mile (18km) stretch between junctions 15 at Northampton and 14 at Milton Keynes has been shut both ways since 07:30 BST.Footage earlier showed a bomb disposal robot pulling a bin bag off the hard shoulder, which appeared to contain a yellow substance.Thames Valley Police confirmed no explosive element was found.However, it said the liquid appeared to be a chemical and analysis was ongoing.Live updates on this story and more

People are being urged to avoid the area and trapped northbound motorists have been redirected from the scene via Newport Pagnell services. Highways England has posted diversions but it is unclear when the road will reopen. A spokesman said tailbacks had roughly halved “down to about three or four kilometres”.

Motorist Ruth Middleton has been stuck in traffic for more than five hours.”I have got my laptop out, some people have been having naps. There hasn’t been a lot to do other than kill time,” she said.
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Tim Mayer, a Conservative councillor from Coventry caught up in the delays, said communication from police had been “appalling” but people had been trying to make the most of the free time.”There’s a five-a-side football competition, a bit of rugby, a guy cycling up and down in the wrong direction,” he said.”There are a few people with coffee in the car who have shared it around and others with some boiled sweets who have been generous.”But the communication from police has been appalling.”

At the scene – Mike Cartwright, BBC NewsI’ve been speaking to people who have been stuck on the M1 for hours now.Trevor Larkun has been stranded since 08:30, he says people are being “mostly patient” and chatting to other motorists.”The mood is OK, we’ve had a few people come and deliver bottles of water and crisps,” he said.”I’ve got sympathy for people I’ve seen walking down the hard shoulder with suitcases, presumably trying to catch a flight.”The worst thing is you don’t know how long you’re going to be here for.”Mr Larkun said that police officers told other motorists they may cut the central reservation at some point to release vehicles from the carriageway.

On Twitter, one motorist wrote: “When you see a helicopter above you and kinda wish they were lowering a portaloo #m1 3 hours and counting…”The Ministry of Defence said it had provided police with “explosive ordnance device assistance”.
Source: BBC RSS