A MAN'S refusal to leave the roof of a gallery caused rush-hour traffic chaos as roads became gridlocked after the closure of the northbound A12.

The man entered the 491 on Grove Green Road, Leytonstone, at 11am this morning.

He climbed to the highest point of the roof and began playing a saxophone.

The man is believed to be a former resident of the gallery who has recently been living in an adjacent building.

The northbound carraigeway of the A12, which borders the rear of the gallery, was closed and a section of Grove Green Road cordoned off as a police negotiator tried to talk him down.

An ambulance and four fire engines were parked at Leytonstone Tube station are on standby.

Earlier a spokesman for the gallery said: “The 491 Gallery is a community arts space maintained by volunteers and has been running local and national arts events for the last eight years.

“The volunteers of the 491 Gallery wish to make it explicitly clear that (the man) is in no way associated with this project and we are working with the police to resolve his deluded and attention seeking behaviour.”