A MAN who brought motorway traffic to a standstill for several hours by standing on a bridge over the carriageway has appeared in court.

On Tuesday afternoon police were forced to close both the south and northbound carriageways between Kearsley and Farnworth and the public were advised to avoid the area after concerns for the welfare of a man on the bridge.

The motorway remained closed until the incident ended just before 4pm.

At Wigan Magistrates' Court Paul Kinley, aged 44, of Mere Gardens, Bolton, pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance by standing on the bridge over the motorway.

At the time he was also subject to a suspended prison sentence for three counts of theft. For the latest offence, Kinley was given a conditional discharge for two years and was ordered to pay £107 in costs and charges.