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Sutton Bridge A17 roadworks: 'mindless idiot' throws bottle at workmen

A glass bottle thrown by a "mindless idiot" at workmen on Cross Keys Bridge at Sutton Bridge could see the swing bridge completely shut for future roadworks.

Some drivers also hurled verbal abuse at the workmen onthe swing bridge, who were carrying out vital £100,000 resurfacing works at the A17 Lincolnshire/Norfolk gateway.

Following Friday's bottle incident, a county council official warned "the worst case scenario" in future could lead to total closure of the bridge.

Library picture: Simon Booth
Library picture: Simon Booth

Sutton Bridge Parish Council chairman Simon Booth praised Lincolnshire County Council for keeping a single lane open with traffic light controls for drivers on the A17 and Bridge Road and for issuing regular updates on the works.

Coun Booth said: "There has been some criticism but I believe the majority of people understand the work has to be done and are pleased that the county council have taken into consideration the needs of the local population by using traffic lights rather than making it a one way system.

"But once again a small minority of mindless idiots may in the future change a best practice into a total closure which wouldn’t be good for the local economy, splitting off a proportion of the parish and pushing all traffic to an already busy Wisbech.

The bridge was controlled by three-way traffic lights for the roadworks
The bridge was controlled by three-way traffic lights for the roadworks

"The bridge at Sutton Bridge is what defines our parish - everyone takes pictures of it, paints it, complains about it, and marvels at it as a structure. Wherever you go in the country, everyone knows about it or has been held up by it, we are all proud of it and hope to see it swinging for many years to come.

Richard Waters, the county council's principal engineer – structures, said: "The majority of motorists have been patient and respectful during the works.

"However, there were incidents of verbal abuse and even a glass bottle thrown at the workforce.

"While we appreciate the disruption caused by the works was frustrating for people, it's unacceptable for the team to be subjected to such behaviour.

"It can also cause additional holds-up. For example, the temporary lights had to be left on red while we cleared the glass from the broken bottle incident. We always try to widely publicise roadworks so people can anticipate the delays to their journey and plan accordingly."

The bridge reopened on Monday, five days earlier than planned.

There were big queues during the works and these stretched along the A17, Bridge Road in Sutton Bridge, and on the diversion route via Wisbech.

Part way through the project the scheme was halted due to a problem with the supply of materials.

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