Driver fined for moving safety barriers from closed bridge

North Wales Police

A taxi driver has been told to pay more than £1000 after he was caught moving safety barriers out of the way so he could drive over a dangerous bridge.

Pont Bodfel was cordoned off on the A497 between Efailnewydd and Boduan in January after part of the structure collapsed into the Afon Rhyd-hir.

But just weeks later, David Morris (55), of Talysarn, was filmed by a passenger as he pushed aside the barriers and lifted the traffic cone so that he could avoid taking an eight-mile detour.

Police were informed about the incident after the footage was posted on social media.

Morris, who was charged with interfering with traffic equipment, was fined £250 at Caernarfon Crown Court. He must also pay £775 in prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Gwynedd County Council said it was considering the verdict in terms of licensing issues.

Sergeant Meurig Jones from the Roads Policing Unit said Morris had made a ”costly mistake” and ”risked lives” by moving the barriers and the cone to clear his path.

”This was completely unacceptable, senseless and shocking behaviour from a so-called professional driver. This was a dangerously damaged section of road yet he opened himself, his passengers and other innocent motorists to danger.”

”I hope that the sentence will send a message to anybody who is caught doing something similar that they will be brought to justice.”

Sergeant Jones said the passenger who filmed the whole incident was not willing to provide a statement, but despite this, Morris was successfully prosecuted.

A council spokesperson said: ”As the local licensing authority, we are considering the court’s verdict in the context of taxing licensing issues.”

A temporary single-lane bridge has since been installed until repairs are carried out on the Grade II-listed bridge, dating back to the 19th century.

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