Dartford Crossing closure: Man held after M25 traffic chaos

Motorist Mike Partridge describes how he bought an ice-cream and chatted to other stranded travellers

Related Stories

A man has been arrested after the M25 Dartford Crossing between Kent and Essex was closed in a security alert.

Drivers were stuck for more than seven hours in nine-mile tailbacks after a pedestrian, who was spotted behaving strangely, was held.

The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and both tunnels were shut when Kent Police said officers found a suspicious item.

But after Army bomb disposal teams investigated, they said the item posed no threat and reopened all routes.

'Man was shouting'

The A20 was also closed in Dover as officers stopped a coach as part of their inquiries into the Dartford Crossing incident.

The coach was removed from the scene, police said, and the road was later reopened. No further arrests were made.

Tolls cleared at Dartford Crossing The toll booths at the Dartford Crossing were cleared of vehicles

Motorists stuck in queues on the crossing said an Army bomb disposal vehicle, ambulances and emergency service vehicles attended the scene.

Graeme Brouder, 36, from Twickenham in south-west London, said: "I was coming off the other side of the bridge towards the tolls at about 16:30 BST on Friday.

"I was about five cars from the barrier and I saw a guy out of the corner of my eye come running along the side of my car, he ran to the barriers.

"He came back towards the cars, he went across into the lane next to me, tried to get in the car next to me, he was shouting something - I had my windows up so I couldn't hear him.

"He was shouting at that car, tried to get in that car, ran past mine, tried my door handle, and then ran down the lane behind me and he was just shouting at everyone.

"He was running around, he was trying to get in everybody's cars."

Trapped vehicles

Traffic trapped on the bridge was eventually released and diverted back into Essex, while some trapped vehicles were released from the tunnels on Friday night.

The toll booths were also cleared of traffic.

Tailbacks stretched through Kent, on the anti-clockwise M25, and in Essex, on the clockwise stretch.

In London, there were severe delays in East Ham, Beckton, Bow, Woolwich, at the Blackwall Tunnel and all approaches to the M25.

The A11, A12 and A13 also experienced heavy traffic.

The A282 Dartford to Thurrock crossing over the River Thames, which consists of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and two tunnels, is used by 140,000 vehicles a day.

Traffic heading south into Kent uses the bridge, while northbound vehicles travelling to Essex use the tunnels, with the M25 linking up either side.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StuntmanStuntman to the stars

    Driving dangerously and falling off buildings are all part of the day job for Bobby Holland Hanton

Programmes

  • The smartphones of shoppers being tracked in a storeClick Watch

    How free wi-fi can enable businesses to track our movements and learn more about us

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.