Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds station: Peter Myers jailed over gantry rush hour chaos

Peter Myers at Leeds Railway Station Image copyright YappApp
Image caption Myers brought Leeds railway station to a standstill when he climbed on the gantry

A man who disrupted thousands of passenger journeys and cost rail firms over £1m has been jailed for six months.

Peter Myers, 36, of no fixed abode, climbed over a gantry at Leeds railway station causing delays to services for about nine hours on 30 May.

He refused to initially come off the gantry and trained police negotiators were called to the scene.

Judge Colin Burn jailed Myers for disrupting hundreds of services.

Myers had previously admitted the charge of obstructing an engine or carriage by using the railway unlawfully.

Myers had been "sitting precariously on a gantry" at the station as the morning rush hour was in full flow.

Image caption Passengers were advised to leave the station because Myers had climbed over a gantry

He repeatedly sat down and then stood up while moving along the gantry.

Police negotiators were eventually called in and Myers was taken for an assessment but found not to have mental health issues.

While the station was closed to rail activity during his time on the gantry, there were 319 cancellations, 169 part-cancellations and 171 hours of rail delays.

In a statement after the sentencing Network Rail said: "We welcome this sentence as this was an act which put his life in danger, delayed passengers and caused widespread disruption to services."

Network Rail said overhead electric wires were switched off at 07:30 BST while police safely "removed [a man] from harm's way" just before 09:30.

Delays and cancellations affected stations across the country, including York, Sheffield, Plymouth and Newcastle.

Network Rail said most services were back to normal by 16:00.

Image caption Staff handed out bottles of water to delayed passengers

More than 72,000 people use the station every day, with an average of 25,000 passengers during the morning peak period.

Leeds is the third busiest railway station in Great Britain outside London, according to Department for Transport figures.

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