Man arrested, Dartford Bridge closed after evening of chaos over security alert.

SUMMARY OF FRIDAY NIGHTS EVENTS

A MAN was arrested after the M25 Dartford Crossing between Kent and Thurrock 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.

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.

Graeme Brouder, 36, from Twickenham in south-west London told the BBC: “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.”

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.

2310 hrs

DARTFORD update: Police say there is “no threat” and both the Bridge and Tunnel are now open both ways.

2300 hrs

Just to confirm: Tunnels now open again at Dartford River Crossing for two-way traffic. Bridge remains closed.

2255 hrs

Thurrock A282 Dartford Tolls Anticlockwise OPEN! Delays remain whilst traffic clears.

2250 hrs

QE2 Bridge / Dartford Tunnel – No estimated time for reopening.

2230 hrs

The Dover Incident

Police stopped a coach in Aycliffe, close to the Port of Dover, hours after a suspicious item was found near the Dartford tunnel toll booths.

The incident at the Dartford crossing, where a male pedestrian was arrested after he was spotted “behaving unusually”, is also believed to have involved a coach.

2200 hrs: Police confirm incidents at #Dover and #Dartford are being linked.

2030 hrs

2045 hrs

Kent Fire and Rescue Service has been called to assist Kent Police at an incident at the Dartford River Crossing.
Police were called to the Dartford Crossing at 4pm following a report that a male pedestrian was behaving unusually. The male has been arrested. Officers have located a suspicious item and have closed the crossing whilst enquiries continue. The crossing will be closed for some time and motorists are advised to find alternative routes. Two fire appliances have been sent to the scene and are on standby.

2020 hrs

No real update. Dartford Crossing remains closed in both directions whilst the police deal with incident. Thanks to motorists for their patience

1855 hrs

Reported that Bomb squad passed Junct 2 and heading to Bridge

1845 hrs

Kent Police said a male pedestrian who was seen “behaving unusually” had been arrested.

“The crossing will be closed for some time and motorists are advised to find alternative routes,” a spokesman said.

1835 hrs

Lorries being parked up.

Cars being turned round and sent back towards Essex.

1830 hrs

Understand a person has been arrested and the police are investigating a suspicious item.

1825 hrs

A13 Greater London – Queueing traffic on A13 eastbound between Wennington Interchange and Lakeside.

A13 Essex – Queueing traffic and long delays on A13 westbound between Tilbury and Lakeside.

1815 hrs

M25 Kent – M25 closed and severe delays anticlockwise from J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange) to J30, A13 (Lakeside), because of a security alert. Diversion in operation – vehicles under 4.0 metres tall can use the Blackwall Tunnel. Tailbacks for four miles. Congestion to J3, M20 (Swanley Interchange).

1740 hrs

YT understands that main area of incident is the South Plaza, i.e: area on Kent side as you approach tolls.

1735 hrs

M25 Kent – M25 closed and severe delays anticlockwise between J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange) and J30, A13 (Lakeside), because of a security alert. Diversion in operation – vehicles under 4.0 metres tall can use the Blackwall Tunnel.

1730 hrs

1723 hrs

Essex Police tell us it is a Kent Police incident. The bridge is their location. Have put call through.

1722 hrs

M25 Kent – M25 Dartford Tunnel closed and severe delays anticlockwise from A282, Dartford River Crossing toll booths, because of a security alert.

1720 hrs

M25 Essex – M25 QE2 Bridge blocked and severe delays clockwise from J31 A1306 Arterial Road West Thurrock to A282, Dartford River Crossing toll booths, because of a security alert. Tailbacks for five miles.

1715hrs

Ensign Buses warning of long delays in the Lakeside area.

1705hrs

Incident description changed from ‘police incident” to ‘security alert”

1700 hrs

M25 Essex – M25 QE2 Bridge blocked and stationary traffic clockwise from J31 A1306 Arterial Road West Thurrock to A282, Dartford River Crossing toll booths, because of a police incident.

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