THOUSANDS of Huntingdonshire drivers spent three hours in traffic jams last Friday afternoon after a man threatened to jump from the A14 viaduct in Huntingdon into the road below.

Police closed the A14 westbound carriageway and Brampton Road at the railway station on Friday. It took two hours to persuade the man to safety. He was detained under the provisions of the Mental Health Act.

But the following evening, the 36-year-old Huntingdon man was back in the same place. He was arrested and subsequently charged with causing a public nuisance.

He is due to appear before Huntingdonshire magistrates on July 11.

On Friday, crowds of passers-by, commuters and students on their way home from school had gathered near the bridge to watch the situation unfold, with the man sitting with his feet dangling over the road below.

The westbound A14 and Brampton Road had been both been closed at 2.30pm, and a police helicopter was also deployed to the area.

Roads were re-opened at 4.30pm, but in the meantime queues on the westbound A14 stretched back as far as junction 11 of the M11 and Huntingdon's road were gridlocked. Some journeys within the town took three hours, readers told The Hunts Post.

An eye-witness, who asked not to be identified, told us: "I was trying to get through to the railway station, when I saw the police blocking the road off at the ring road junction. When I walked through I could see police cars parked under the bridge, and ambulances too.

"From the station platform I could see to the other side, and it was clear that there was someone up there - he was sitting near the spiked fence with his legs dangling over the edge. He seemed to be hanging over Brampton Road rather than the railway line, because the trains were still running despite him being there.

"He was sitting very still, with his head down, and didn't seem agitated. I could see a couple of people were speaking to him over the barrier.

"A crowd of people gathered during the time I was there, with lots of kids on their way home from school."

One of the paper's readers pointed out: "This incident should prove that there needs to be another access route into and out of the hospital as, if there were ever another incident like this or worse, it causes absolute chaos for emergency vehicles. It could cost lives."