Traffic was brought to a standstill on the M62 last night (Sat) after police responded to calls of a woman on the wrong side of the barrier on Scammonden Bridge.
Both carriageways of the motorway were closed between junctions 22 and 24 at about 10.45pm while police officers and paramedics succeeded in talking the woman down from the bridge – also known as Rainbow Bridge. She was taken to hospital by ambulance for a mental health assessment.
Both carriageways re-opened about 90 minutes later, shortly after midnight.
Earlier in the day drivers were stuck for several hours when the westbound carriageway between Rishworth Moor and Milnrow was closed after a tanker carrying oxygen burst into flames.
Mirfield man Darren Halmshaw, 53, was caught in the hold-up last night on his return home from Blackpool, where his daughter Eve, 16, had been performing in a show at the Globe Theatre.
He said he had checked traffic reports before setting out to Blackpool and avoided taking the motorway after hearing about the tanker fire.
Darren said: “Coming back, we’d just reached the highest point of the motorway when a police car came up on the inside and stopped all traffic.
“We were there for about an hour. Both carriageways were stopped and people were walking around on the motorway, which I’ve never seen before. Some lads in front of us managed to unlock a gate and we got onto the westbound carriageway and came off at Rishworth Moor.”
Darren said the return journey ended up taking three hours with Darren and Eve finally arriving home at 1am.
A police spokesman said: “The call came in at 10.48pm and officers stopped the motorway traffic, engaged with the female and talked her down.
“She was on the wrong side of the barrier and it’s a very high bridge. She came down safely and was taken by ambulance for a mental health assessment.”
Anyone in distress can call the Samaritans 24 hours a day on 116 123.