Police "stopped" traffic on the M61 after a "concern for welfare" incident this morning, Tuesday.

Motorists were brought to a standstill between junction 6 at Middlebrook and junction 8 at Chorley on the M61 for more than 40 minutes from around 11am. 

Lancashire Police initially said that they were "dealing with an incident", before later confirming that officers had been called to a "concern for welfare" incident.

It is understood that a man involved in the incident has since been found safe and well. 

The Bolton News: Traffic built up at J6 Middlebrook following reopeningTraffic built up at J6 Middlebrook following reopening (Image: National Highways)

The motorway was reopened at around 11.45am, after highways officers reported a "large number of people" out of their vehicles and walking. 

A National Highways spokesperson said: "Traffic remains held in both directions on the M61 between J8 (Chorley) and J6 (Middlebrook) due to an ongoing police incident.

"We're ready to release traffic but this is being delayed by a large number of people out of their vehicles walking around the carriageway." 

To read minute by minute updates, see our live blog from earlier: RECAP: Police close motorway after 'incident'

The roads agency had previously said: "Due to the nature of the incident we are unsure of when we will be able to release traffic. Please stay in your vehicle." 

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The Bolton News: Traffic flowing more freelyTraffic flowing more freely (Image: National Highways)

During the incident, there were delays of more than 30 minutes on approach. 

Following vehicles being released by police, traffic remained heavy for around half an hour, before clearing by 12.15pm. 

Police also reported residual delays of up to 30 minutes following all lanes northbound and southbound being reopened.