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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Carlisle road grinds to halt in three-hour stand-off

A three-hour stand-off on one of Carlisle's busiest roads brought the city to a grinding halt.

Motorists were left gridlocked for hours after police closed Castle Way at about 4.10pm on Monday to deal with the incident.

Officers had been called to the Irishgate Bridge – the pedestrian walk way over the road – to reports over concerns for the welfare of a woman.

It is understood that she was threatening to jump from the bridge.

Eyewitnesses described the woman, dressed in a turquoise hooded jumper, blue trousers and white trainers, as being sat on one of the bridge supports above Castle Way.

Two fire engines, a fire service response car, two police vans and an ambulance were all at the scene, as police closed the road between the Dalston Road junction and Hardwicke Circus roundabout. With vehicles diverted along Junction Street and through the city centre, it left motorists stuck in traffic for hours.

It also had a knock-on effect on traffic trying to leave Sainsbury’s, with some people reportedly stuck for up to an hour in the supermarket car park.

Bystanders gathered at the roadside as the drama unfolded.

One man, who did not want to be named, told the News & Star: “I was waiting for a bus [when it happened].

“They have been talking to her for about an hour already.

“They have given her a few cigarettes – I saw her smoking. It is an old-fashioned negotiation.”

However, many social media users were less sympathetic, sparking arguments as some people pitied the woman while others labelled her actions thoughtless.

Cumbria Police are only releasing limited details about the incident, but have confirmed that they brought it to an end almost three hours later.

The woman was subsequently taken to the city’s Cumberland Infirmary.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria Police said: “The woman was not injured, and there were no suspicious circumstances.”

The road was fully reopened at about 7pm, but there were delays in Carlisle for some time afterwards.

 

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