POLICE pulled a 21-year-old man to safety last night after he spent 15 minutes perched on the edge of a Darlington railway bridge.

The man, wearing a football shirt, clambered over the side of the North Road bridge and at one point was leaning out over the road.

Police were called shortly before 7.15pm and set up a traffic diversion after blocking off North Road.

Trains on the Bishop Auckland branch line were also halted.

A spokesman for Darlington police said that officers managed to get on to the railway bridge and grab him from behind, pulling him back over the parapet.

One witness said: "The young chap was leaning forward on the outside of the bridge.

"I looked away for a moment and he had gone.

"He had been pulled back by the police."

The man, who is from Darlington, was taken into police custody and examined by a doctor before he was later released without charge.