Man arrested over bridge jump threats which closed M32
BRISTOL'S city centre was brought to a standstill for the second day running as a man threatened to jump from a bridge over the M32.
Police shut the northbound carriageway at the St Paul's junction after the man climbed onto the wrong side of the railings of a footbridge linking Easton and St Werburgh's at about 5.20pm yesterday.
It came a day after a different man threatened to jump from another bridge nearby.
Traffic ground to a halt as evening rush-hour commuters found themselves unable to leave on the main route out of the city and other roads started to fill up.
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Drivers reported taking as long as an hour and a half to travel distances of half a mile or less.
The 26-year-old man, from Easton, was finally arrested at about 8pm.
The alert was sparked when police received a call from a community centre worker in St Werburgh's who was concerned after seeing a man on the bridge.
Police arrived and shut the road and sent a negotiator to talk to him.
The Post understands the man told the negotiator he wanted to protest over an ongoing legal dispute, before finally agreeing to climb back over the railing.
Inspector Paul Winship told the Post: "When police first arrived the man said he would jump from the bridge if police came within 20 feet of him. He wanted to make a point and he did until about 8pm when the negotiator managed to persuade him down."
After being brought off the bridge by officers the man was arrested for a public order offence and taken into police custody.
The M32 was reopened around 8pm but by then many commuters had faced severe delays all over the city.
Insp Winship said: "I would like to thank those commuters who waited patiently while this incident was resolved.
"The work of the police officers, and in particular the police negotiator, also deserves praise. The negotiator spent a lot of time talking to the man and we are glad he came off the bridge safely."