THE M1 was closed for about seven hours between junction 36 and junction 37 on Monday following reports of a suspicious package - but when specialist officers arrived they found the bag was empty.

Police were called at around 1.10pm by a member of the public who reported a supicious-looking package on a railway bridge, just off Gilroyd Lane.

A police spokesperson added: “Officers and specialist teams including an EOD disposal unit attended the scene and the M1 had to be closed in both directions between junction 36 and 37 while investigations determined what the package was.

“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.

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“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.”