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Traffic and trains held up by Neath bridge drama

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

By Paul Lewis

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RUSH-HOUR trains and traffic had to be halted when a man was seen perched on the edge of a Neath flyover.

A member of the public saw the man standing on the wrong side of the barriers on the A474 town centre southern link road and raised the alarm.

Traffic was already disrupted because of ongoing repair work on the bridge, and police have thanked those delayed further because of the drama for their patience.

Inspector Huw Griffiths said the man, in his 20s and from Neath, was directly over the main Swansea to Paddington railway line.

"Officers were quickly on the scene to assess the situation," he said.

"They liaised with colleagues in British Transport Police and requested that all trains were stopped while the situation was dealt with.

"Our officers negotiated with the individual and managed to talk him away from where he was standing and into a place of safety.

"The good news is that he was unhurt and he was put into a safe environment."

Mr Griffiths said police could only surmise as to the man's intentions. But it had been confirmed he was not involved in the roadworks on the A474.

"It was an excellent piece of work by our officers," he said. "They were on the scene within minutes and immediately put the correct processes into place.

"In a situation like this we would usually send a trained negotiator in.

"But because of the good work of the officers who initially attended, that did not prove necessary."

It happened at 6pm on Wednesday and was resolved within 15 minutes of officers arriving.

"As they were able to deal with the matter so swiftly there was minimum disruption to the public, whether they were travelling on the A474 or by train," said Mr Griffiths.

"We would like to thank the member of the public who called us the moment they saw the man standing on the flyover.

"We would also like to thank everyone affected by this incident for their patience and understanding," he added.

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