Bomb disposal units were called out after emergency services shut a section of the M3 motorway, causing travel misery for thousands of motorists yesterday.

The incident forced drivers to wait on the road for more than 11 hours on Saturday and prone passengers stuck on the motorway captured footage of some motorists driving the wrong way down the hard shoulder in order to escape - a traffic offence which routinely carries a fine. 

Witness Jenna Keating, 31, a writer from Windsor, told the Press Association: "There are lots of people stranded here, people have got out of their cars to stretch their legs and things, but some are just turning round and going back down the hard shoulder.

"We actually spoke to police about this to see whether this was something we could do in the circumstances and they said 'absolutely not'.

"They also said the delay had been quite well advertised, although none of the four of us in the car saw anything until we were in it.

"We're one of the lucky ones, we've only been here for 40 minutes although we've basically only crawled forward into space probably left by those who are trying to turn around.

"I can't think it's a good idea to use the hard shoulder - there have been a couple of unmarked vehicles with sirens blaring coming up and using it, so it's pretty dangerous if there are cars coming in the other direction."