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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 November, 2003, 20:24 GMT
Tower Bridge reopens
'Spiderman' David Chick
Spiderman is Mr Chick's daughter's favourite comic book hero
The police have decided to reopen the roads around Tower Bridge after they were shut because of a man, dressed as Spiderman, protesting about father's rights.

There was confusion for most of Tuesday with London mayor Ken Livingstone saying motorists should be allowed to drive across the bridge, but the roads were kept closed on health and safety grounds.

David Chick, 36, from Burgess Hill, West Sussex, is in his fifth day of protest at the top of a 100 foot (30.48 metres) crane in high winds near the London landmark.

On Friday he put on a Spiderman costume, climbed the crane and unfurled a banner to protest about father's rights to see their children.

He is a man who is putting his own life at risk, police officers at risk, other Londoners who may be passing along the road at risk
London mayor Ken Livingstone
Police closed the bridge and surrounding roads, worried that the swinging crane could become unstable and Mr Chick could fall off.

The bridge is a major route for motorists crossing the Thames and its closure has caused 10-mile traffic jams during the rush hour.

A Met Police spokesman said: "Whilst disruption to traffic in that area and the ability of Londoners to go about their day-to-day business unhindered are important factors, the health and safety of the public and our officers are of over riding concern.

"We are satisfied at the current time that all considerations have been taken into account and it is safe for the MPS to reopen these roads."

Mr Livingstone said he had spoken to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens about the situation and they had both agreed it was "completely unacceptable".

'Held to ransom'

"Action has to be taken to allow Londoners to move around the city and not be held to ransom by one individual," he said.

Mr Livingstone said the protest, part of a continuing campaign by Fathers 4 Justice, did nothing to help Mr Chick's cause.

He added that Mr Chick, was "amply demonstrating why some men should not have access to their own children".

"He is a man who is putting his own life at risk, police officers at risk, other Londoners who may be passing along the road at risk," he said.

Spiderman cordon criticised
03 Nov 03  |  London
Spiderman 'on crane for a week'
01 Nov 03  |  London

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