A MAN was talked down by distraught relatives after threatening to jump off a bridge in to traffic.

Concerned motorists alerted police after spotting the man, in his early 20s, on top of the footbridge over the M61 near junction 3 at 11.15am today.

An emergency operator deployed police, an ambulance and an expert negotiator to the scene and the man’s relatives also went there to talk to him.

The relatives spoke to the man and managed to calm him down and he voluntary walked away from the bridge at about noon.

By that time, police had closed the road between junctions 2 and 4 and the Highways Agency described delays as “very severe.”

Hundreds of people got out of their queuing vehicles on the motorway to watch the unfolding drama.

A police spokesman said described the man as a “person in crisis” who was later taken to hospital for a checkup.

He added: “The man’s relatives managed to calm the situation before the negotiator arrived.

“The man had been in a distressed state and had indicated that he wanted to jump, but fortunately, things turned out the right way.”