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A man has scaled Sydney Harbour Bridge illegally, causing traffic chaos across Sydney during peak hour and raising concerns about security measures.
The man climbed the Harbour Bridge around 4:30am and spoke with police negotiators before agreeing to climb down and be taken into custody about 9.30am.
To allow for emergency vehicles to have access to the man, all lanes on the bridge were closed until 10am.
Traffic extended up to 20km in some directions and traffic continued to be affected for up to two hours after the lanes were reopened.
This caused major delays across all of Sydney, despite warnings from Live Traffic Sydney for commuters to avoid the area.
SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE: Continue to stay away from approaches to the bridge due to ongoing police operation. Southbound traffic queued back onto M2 in North Epping & northbound back onto Victoria Rd, Gladesville. pic.twitter.com/Tv6Rwvqyxe— Live Traffic Sydney (@LiveTrafficSyd) April 3, 2018
Trains were not affected by the road closure; however buses were delayed for up to 70 minutes and cars also suffered severe delays causing Sydneysiders to be furious.
Commuters took to social media to express their frustrations:
So this bloke who climbed up into the Sydney Harbour Bridge structure? Why can’t we just leave him there and get on with our day? He’ll come down when he’s bored.— Stilgherrian (@stilgherrian) April 3, 2018
So one man climbs the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the entire traffic system is brought to its knees. My 25 min trip ( nowhere near the bridge) took me 1 hour and 45mins. I love you Sydney but really.........— Brenda Duchen (@seaeaglenut) April 4, 2018
NSW opposition spokesman on Justice and police Guy Zangari told Central News there were serious questions to be answered over the incident.
“What was happening today? There were 10 security officers, CCTV footage and yet an individual has brought this city to a complete stand still. This is just not on.”
“This is the fourth time this has occurred in as many years and we need the government to come out today and give us some answers,” Mr Zangari said.
“What is Premier Gladys Berejiklian doing regarding the security of the Harbour Bridge?”
“The government needs better coordination of all the agencies who are looking after...the bridge.”
In June 2016, a man illegally climbed the Harbour Bridge, causing similar mass traffic chaos across the city.
Police and Roads and Maritime Services have announced they will join together to work towards increased security to prevent this from happening in the future.
The unnamed man, who was known to police, was taken to hospital by ambulance.