Two protesters who had blocked the Dartford Crossing since Monday morning after climbing the bridge have been brought down and arrested.
The Just Stop Oil activists, called Marcus and Morgan, had scaled the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and stayed there for more than 36 hours, meaning no traffic could cross.
They stayed in hammocks and draped a Just Stop Oil banner across the bridge.
Police used an elevated platform, which arrived at the scene on Tuesday afternoon, to remove the men from the bridge.
The men were taken down separately and then arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance.
Essex Police’s specialist team will lead the investigation and will collate evidence for a Crown Prosecution Service decision.
As of Tuesday evening, National Highways had still to announce when the bridge will reopen.
Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: “We cannot tolerate people carrying out activity which puts lives at risk and prevents people from going about their lives.
“I know this has been really frustrating for the public and the disruption has negatively impacted on businesses and meant people have been late for, or missed, appointments.
“Alongside our partners, we worked hard to resolve this complex situation as quickly and safely as possible.
“Now the situation has been resolved, National Highways will make the decision about when and how the bridge can reopen.
“I want to again reiterate, we are not in any way anti-protest, and we will always seek to facilitate safe protest where we can.
“However, it is unacceptable for people to think they can put lives in danger with irresponsible actions. In this case, it is clear that we had to act, but that action had to be safe and responsible, and I want to again thank the public for their patience and understanding.”
The two protesters said on the Just Stop Oil Twitter page after agreeing to come down: “We successfully disrupted oil supplies to Kent and the South East for 36 hrs.
🚨 BREAKING: MORGAN AND MARCUS DESCEND FROM DARTFORD CROSSING BRIDGE 🚨
🍒 After a successful 37 hour occupation, Morgan and Marcus descended from Queen Elizabeth II Bridge on a giant cherrypicker, having majorly disrupted fuel deliveries from Essex to the South East of England. pic.twitter.com/ailp1zKaGw
— Just Stop Oil ⚖️💀🛢 (@JustStop_Oil) October 18, 2022
“We are stepping down now but other supporters of Just Stop Oil will be stepping up day after day, causing disruption and putting their liberty on the line to demand that the government ends new oil and gas.”