M1 closed in South Yorkshire for seven hours over discovery of 'empty' package

The M1 in South Yorkshire was closed for almost seven hours, with a bomb squad deployed, over what turned out to be an empty package.

Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 3:56 pm

Both carriageways of the M1 were closed between J36 in Tankersley and J37 in Barnsley between around 1.10pm and 8pm yesterday (Monday, May 9) following the discovery of a suspicious package on a footbridge on an old railway bridge that carries the Trans Pennine Trail over the M1 just off Gilroyd Lane in Barnsley.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said that the package had been discovered by a member of the public.

They added: “Officers and specialist teams including an EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) unit attended the scene and the M1 had to be closed in both directions between Junction 36 and Junction 37 while investigations determined what the package was.

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The M1 between junction 36 and junction 37 was closed in both directions yesterday following the discovery of a suspicious-looking package

“It was determined that the package was empty, and it is now being forensically examined to determine where it came from.

“The M1 was able to open up again in both directions by 8pm. We appreciate the disruption caused keeping the public safe while these investigations were carried out. We would like to thank everyone for their patience while that work took place.”

Motorists travelling on both the northbound and southbound carriageways experienced major delays, with drivers asked to follow diversions put in place while investigations were carried out.

Sheffield Wednesday fans travelling to Hillsborough to watch the second leg of the Owls’ play-off semi-final against Sunderland last night were also told to expect significant delays.