A young man hoping to escape police chose the wrong part of the Whanganui River bank to make his bid for freedom on Sunday night.

Sergeant Shaun Jones of Whanganui Police said the man had failed to stop for police and abandoned the car he was driving in Somme Parade, attempting to escape on foot.

The driver left the vehicle near the Riverside Motel near Guyton and Ingestre streets and ran across the road before jumping over the barrier.

"I think he thought he would be able to get away along the bank and didn't realise how steep it is there," Mr Jones said.

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The fleeing driver fell down the bank and was rescued by Whanganui Fire Srigade, who treated him for minor injuries at the scene.