Operators of a bridge in Great Yarmouth suffered abuse after it broke down.

Haven Bridge experienced a fault on Friday, leading to the highway being closed to cars, pedestrians and cyclists in the afternoon.

Haven Bridge is operated by Peel Ports on behalf of Norfolk County Council, and port director Richard Goffin said frustrated bridge users on Friday began pulling at the closed barriers to allow cyclists and people with pushchairs to cross.

And he said that an "intoxicated person" was even seen directing traffic by it.

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Great Yarmouth Mercury: Peel Ports director Richard Goffin. Picture - NewsquestPeel Ports director Richard Goffin. Picture - Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)"We saw people jumping the barriers, walking into the road on the outside of the safety rail and even had an intoxicated individual directing traffic on one side of the road. All on the same day," said Mr Goffin.

"In the past, we've had someone threaten to stab one of our staff. We've had abuse thrown at people, and we've had someone square up to one of our staff, saying he was 'going to knock his block off'.

"We're lifting the bridge on behalf of Norfolk County Council, and something needs to be done."

Mr Goffin suggested security be added to the area when the bridge is due to open or better signage reminding people of the dangers of crossing the barriers when they are down.

The 94-year-old Haven Bridge received £1.2m of repairs in 2021 when it was closed for 13 weeks.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Haven Bridge, closed. Picture - Newsquest ArchivesHaven Bridge, closed. Picture - Newsquest Archives (Image: Newsquest)"We're expecting that bridge to operate in the manner it should, but it still keeps breaking down," Mr Goffin added.

"And we can't hope to fix the bridge if people are walking across it. It has to be open to fix it."

Mr Goffin also said that the police were called for assistance on Friday - but only arrived after several calls were made.

Once the Haven Bridge was working again, further issues came on Friday afternoon when the traffic lights on North Quay stopped working.

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said: "Threats directed at staff working to keep roads and bridges open are never acceptable and the operatives working on Haven Bridge have our full support.

"Some members of the public sought to cross despite the highway being closed: we must be clear that this is dangerous and poses a real risk of harm to those ignoring the closure.

"Highways restrictions are put in place to protect lives and allow vital work to be conducted, and not only is ignoring these directions gravely irresponsible but in this case it also delayed the return of Haven Bridge to full operation.”

A spokesperson for Norfolk Constabulary said: "Police were called to reports of a ‘concern for safety’ relating to members of the public trying to climb over the barriers at Haven Bridge in Yarmouth at 2.30pm on Friday, February 2.

"Police officers then attended at 3pm to prevent this while work was ongoing and by 3.38pm the bridge was repaired and fully open.

"This response was graded as a priority and police arrived at the scene within the required attendance time."