POLICE are asking taxi drivers to help their investigation into the weekend's bomb hoax in Bristol.

Fishponds residents were forced to evacuate from some 460 homes on Saturday morning. Around 800 people were evacuated from homes in Cassell Road, Kimberly Road and Grace Road just after 6am.

Avon and Somerset Police had been called to reports to a car doused in petrol with something "unsafe" inside it.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team attended the car, carrying out several controlled explosions but the bomb scare turned out to be a hoax.

Investigating officer DC John Shanahan said: “An examination of the car did not find any trace of explosives, but it had been doused in fuel.

“Our investigation is progressing and we are now appealing for taxi drivers for their assistance."

The force wants to speak to any drivers who dropped off or picked anyone up in the Blackhorse Road area of Downend/Emersons Green in the early hours of Saturday, or dropped off or picked anyone up in the Cassell Road area in the early hours of Saturday.

They are also looking to speak to drivers who dropped off or picked anyone up in the City Road area of St Pauls, Bristol, at around 3.50am on Saturday, or dropped off or picked anyone up anywhere in the Bristol area who smelt of petrol, or who may have been carrying a petrol canister.

DC Shanahan added: “If any taxi drivers think they can help, I would urge them to call South Gloucestershire CID as soon as possible.

“A 42-year-old man arrested on suspicion of a bomb hoax (placing with intent) has been released on bail while our enquiries continue.”

Anyone with any information can call South Gloucestershire CID via the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre via 101.