The M61 is now being reopened, with closures removed in both directions.

Delays are expected as the traffic clears.

The M61 was closed in both directions from Farnworth to Kearsley, as police attended to a man on a bridge.

The motorway was closed for approximately five hours.

Highways England announced on Twitter: "Update on the incident #M61 both directions between #J2 and #J4 (#Kearsley #Walkden) > We have been informed that all the closures can now be removed, and the carriageway can be re-opened. Please be advised this will take some time to fully re-open, and for congestion to clear."

Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that they received a call regading concerns for a male seen on a bridge. The police say they are now speaking to the man.

North West Motorway Police say patrols are working with Highways England on the incident.

The motorway was closed between junction four at Logistics North and junction two around Kearsley Spur and police were at the scene.

Highways England tweeted: "#Trafficofficers are working with police in resolving this incident as quickly as possible."

Drivers were advised to remain with their cars and not stand on the hard shoulder to make way for responders.

Some drivers were unable to move since the closure was announced at around 10am. 

One driver said: "Been stuck in it for over an hour now. People round me are frustrated, one car is on the way to her daughters wedding. One is picking up some friends and going to the airport on holiday."

One ice cream van driver was offering assistance to fellow motorists.

Patrols will begin to assist traffic to exit the motorway.

Diversions were given to get around the closure. 

For southbound vehicles: Exit the M61 at junction four. Join the A6 Southbound. Then join the A5082 Northbound. Exit the A5082 and take the third exit onto the A666 Southbound, to then re-join the M61 at junction 2. 
Follow the solid black circle diversion.

For northbound vehicles: The same route as Southbound but in reverse. Follow the solid black square diversion symbol.

Stagecoach bus company apologised for delays to services, saying on Twitter that there is 27 minute delays to the 38 route in both directions. This is because of heavier traffic on Manchester Road West.

On Twitter, North West Motorway Police said: "Patrols working alongside Highways England are having to close the M61 between J2 & J4 both ways due to an ongoing incident. @gmptraffic @HighwaysNWEST"

The motorway police also tweeted: "Once closures are in place patrols will start to assist traffic between the closure & prev junction to exit the m/way. Please do not turn around until instructed by police/Highways. Do not use or stand on the hard shoulder & remain with your veh as you'll obstruct responders."