Crane protest halts Dordogne bypass

Construction work on Beynac bypass near Sarlat temporarily halted as protester chains himself to a crane 15m above ground - before coming down after six nights

A man who spent six nights chained to the a crane in protest at the building of the Beynac bypass, near Sarlat has come down.

The protester was one of two people who strapped themselves to a section of the crane, at the construction site of a bridge over the Dordogne river at Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, on Friday.

Construction at the site has been halted for the duration of the stand-off, for safety reasons.

Officials refused to allow supplies to be taken up to the man after he had been on the crane for four days. A statement from the prefecture, on Tuesday, read: "At any time, the person concerned may drink, eat, be medically cared for, provided he gets off the crane."

The statement, which referred to "the illegal nature of this action", said went on to say that the stunt is "risk-taking for itself [which] is not acceptable" and gives rise to "serious concern".

The protester climbed down briefly so he could be examined by medically trained firefighters on Sunday, but dashed back to his 15metre-high perch before police officers could arrest him. He has remained there ever since, refusing repeated appeals to climb down.

In the statement, Prefect Anne-Gaëlle Baudouin-Clerc called on "opponents of the project to act in full responsibility: only the cessation of this action will ensure the health and safety of this person".

She added: "Disputes still pending before the administrative judge are the only legal means of contesting this project, for which the contracting authority is the Département de la Dordogne."

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