Council provides update on faulty bridge as motorists vent frustrations

The bridge has experienced numerous faults recently Picture: Nick Butcher

The bridge has experienced numerous faults recently Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant © 2011

A bridge that caused travel chaos in Great Yarmouth is experiencing “an electrical problem”.

Haven Bridge was closed to traffic for the majority of yesterday afternoon, resulting in gridlock across the town and its surrounding areas.

The issue is yet to be resolved and electricians remain on site, however, the bridge is now fully open to all traffic except high vessels.

Norfolk County Council has provided an update on the situation and the outlook for the weekend.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “The issue appears to be an electrical problem and the port have electricians on site today to try and solve the problem.

“They are hoping to be in a position to lift the bridge on Sunday to allow the tugs towing the sea scout vessel, TS Lord Nelson, to pass through.

“With electricians on site they are planning to lift the bridge, even if the bridge remains non-operational to high vessels, for a further period afterwards.

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“The fallback position, if the bridge is not able to be lifted, is for the vessels to moor until the bridge is repaired.”

The town has ground to a halt on numerous occasions over recent weeks as a result of faults with the bridge.

At the end of May, a barrier fault stopped traffic and prompted some pedestrians to clamber over railings, while on June 9 an electrical problem closed the bridge for an hour and a half, causing queues to back up as far as Gorleston’s inner relief road.

Harbour masters, Peel Ports, have previously said that diagnosing faults and replacing parts for the 90-year-old bridge can be challenging.

The latest closure prompted motorists and pedestrians in the area to take to social media in their droves to vent their anger and share their woes.

Mark Liffen said: “Don’t open it, they know it’s faulty, surely traffic getting in and out of the town is more important than a few pleasure cruisers that probably don’t need it opening anyway?”

Russell Driver said: “To happen once is unfortunate, to happen twice is carelessness, but to happen a third time is incompetence.”

Karina Murphy said: “I moved one-and-a-half miles in four hours with a three-year-old and an eight-year-old in the car. Had no food or drink in the car as was on the way to McDonald’s. Safe to say we never got to McDonald’s on Gapton as turned off at Harfreys as soon as I could.”

Tanya McCormick said: “Left North Denes at 1.55pm, finally got to my kids school in Southtown at 4pm. It’s beyond ridiculous.

“No matter which way you went it was gridlocked. I stupidly came off Lawn Avenue and nipped up Northgate Street. Big mistake, I sat by Markets Gates trying to get to the quays for an hour and 10 minutes.

“Decided to abandon my car on the quay and walk over the bridge instead but they then stopped people walking over, finally let us cross after waiting half an hour.

“The knock on effect from that bridge being out is horrendous.”

Paul Platten said: “I wonder how much money was wasted, how much fuel was consumed by cars queuing. Keep it closed until the third crossing is built, and then replace it.”

John Hawkes said: “God help anyone needing an ambulance to get to or from the JPUH.”