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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 on Friday night as bomb disposal experts investigated a suspicious item.
Officers had been called to the crossing at 4pm 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: "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."
Motorists crossing the Dartford Tunnel reported seeing a man walking near the toll booths shouting.
Van driver Paul Auty, 39, told the Daily Mail: "This man was wandering around between the lines of traffic waiting to go through the toll booths, and he was waving his arms around and shouting."
Photographs posted on social networking site Twitter showed long queues of stationary traffic with many commuters standing outside their vehicles.
Laura Wilcock posted on Twitter: "Finally home and in my bed after a very long 9 hours stuck on the dartford bridge. Scary stuff. I hope everyone gets home safely xx"