Motorists travelling on the M40 were warned to avoid Birmingham on Saturday evening, as about 20,000 people were evacuated in a security alert.
West Midlands Police diverted traffic away from the city centre, in what police called a "proportionate response" to a credible security threat.
An Army bomb disposal vehicle was seen near Broad Street, the city's entertainment hub. Four controlled explosions were carried out on one bus. Later officers believed the item destroyed had not posed a threat.
Hotel guests sat outside their accommodation after police cordoned off parts of the city during a massive security alert.
One of the main roads into Britain's second city was practically deserted after it was closed by police during the mass evacuation.
Some residents in the city were evacuated and they stood and sat on the pavement outside their homes for further news from police.