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Wolverhampton roads back to normal after seven-hour bridge incident ends safely

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Transport | Published:

A key road in Wolverhampton was closed for seven hours this morning as police negotiated with a man on a bridge.

Congested traffic in Wolverhampton city centre during rush hour

Commuters faced a challenging morning with Railway Drive, a stretch of the ring road and the city bus station all closed until the man came down at around 9am.

After being brought to safety he was detained and is now receiving 'appropriate support', West Midlands Police said.

The bus station and all nearby roads were reopened immediately, although traffic was not expected to be moving freely again for some time.

Railway Drive and St David's ring road were closed for seven hours as specialist police officers negotiated with the man, who had been on the bridge since before 2am.

Traffic backed-up along the ring road on the approach to the train station. Photo: Brad Baker
The normally-busy bus station was deserted during the incident

There was gridlock on many main roads - including Stafford Road, Cannock Road and Wednesfield Road - with drivers facing delays of more than an hour.

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Actress Jade Natalie, who is from Wolverhampton and was caught up in the chaos, said: "I’ve never seen anything like it - absolute pandemonium! I made the 30-minute journey via foot in the rain."

Another driver said: "I should have been in my office in the city centre for 8am but did not arrive until 9am.

"Cars were queuing far further back on Stafford Road than normal during rush hour, with traffic from the city centre backed-up as far as Oxley Food Stores.

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"I saved a bit of time by taking back roads across to Tettenhall Road but it was still pretty slow over there.

"It had already been a difficult drive in with so much heavy rain making motorway driving a challenge."

With Railway Drive shut, train passengers faced diversions reaching the station but were able to use their tickets on West Midlands Metro trams between Wolverhampton and Grand Central in Birmingham.

Police block off the exit to the bus station

Meanwhile buses used stops on nearby roads, including on Bilston Street, while the station was blocked off by police.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "Police were alerted to a man threatening to jump off a bridge on Railway Drive in Wolverhampton at 1.44am this morning."

Police tape and a patrol car outside the Chubb Buildings near the ring road. Photo: Brad Baker

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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