The motorway has been shut between junction 36, for Tankersley, and junction 37, for Barnsley, and traffic diverted along other routes, police said, earlier, because of the item on a bridge over the carriageway.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said this afternoon: “Emergency services are currently on scene on Gilroyd Lane, Barnsley after a suspicious package was found on a foot bridge over the M1 just after 1pm today.
“Specialist officers are on scene to establish what the package is. As a precaution, the M1 is currently closed in both directions between Jct 36 and Jct 37 and is expected to remain closed for some time. Please avoid this section of the motorway if possible.
“We appreciate your patience and will update as soon as we can.”
Readers have left comments on the Star’s Facebook page describing seeing bomb disposal teams arrive.
The road has been closed in both directions, and traffic is being diverted,
Northbound traffic is being diverted from J36 - via the A61 westbound, the A616, the A629 northbound and the A628 eastbound - to return at J37.
Southbound traffic is being diverted via the A628 westbound, the A629 Southbound and A616 eastbound - to leave at J37 and return at J35a.
Highways England said on social media: “Delays are likely on the approach to this closure, with additional journey times also expected on diversion routes.”
Delays are building on the approach to the closure - currently 90 minutes southbound and 60 minutes northbound above normal journey times.