UPDATE: M1 re-opens as police bring down gantry board protester
Police have confirmed that the M1 has re-opened and a man who delayed traffic by refusing to come down from a gantry over the M1 motorway has been brought safely down.
Leicestershire Police said the man was brought safely down at around 4.20pm 10 minutes ago.
Hundreds of thousands of motorists were delayed by the two-day incident after the man was spotted yesterday (Sunday, June 12), on the structure which hangs over the carriageway between junctions 23a and 22.
Officers said: "Police took the decision to close the carriageways after a man scaled a ladder yesterday lunchtime and climbed into the stanchion over the southbound carriageways."
The northbound carriageway has remained open throughout but traffic is heavy.
Assistant Chief Constable Phil Kay of Leicestershire Police added: “I appreciate that this remains an extremely frustrating situation for the many hundreds of thousands of motorists who have inevitably been caught up as a result of this road closure and its knock on effects on all the other major routes in the midlands region and beyond.
“I have the greatest of sympathy with everyone whose plans and daily activities have been affected but our primary responsibility is the safety of the man himself, my own officers at the scene, and all road users, and we cannot do anything that compromises their safety.
“We have been working hard since yesterday lunchtime to resolve this situation."
But after two days on the information board, and with graffiti spread across it to be read by traffic passing on the Northbound carriageways, police were able to re-open the road just before rush hour.
Chief Superintendent David Sandall trained cpolice officers were communicating with the man before he was brought down a few minutes ago.
Long delays hit drivers as those needing to continue on the M1 were forced to travel down the A42, M42 and M6 to rejoin the M1 at junction 19 near Rugby.
The incident provoked a mixed response from motorists and Facebook commenters, some of whom showed sympathy for the man while others complained about the level of disruption.