Great Yarmouth's brand new Herring Bridge became the Swearing Bridge after a control room blunder saw a volley of expletives played out to waiting motorists on loud speaker.

The structure, which was officially opened on Thursday, was closed to traffic on Saturday afternoon, due to an apparent mishap.

To compound the problems for staff in the control room trying to fix it, their foul-mouthed converations were inadvertently played out on the public address system to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians waiting to be able to cross.

A recording reveals one worker saying: "I've been dealing with this ***** issue for four hours" before exclaiming "Oh for ****'s sake".

It was recorded at around 3pm by a cyclist who was trying to cross.

He said: “The bridge was open to traffic but then the alarm went off and the barriers came down and there was a message that there was an issue with the bridge and telling people to find an alternative route.

"But they must have left the public address system on and you could hear plenty of effing and blinding."

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The same cyclist had tried to cross earlier in the day, at around 1.30pm, but the barriers had come down then as well, even though there did not appear to be any river traffic that would have required the bridge to open.

The same message about a fault with the bridge and an instruction to find an alternative route had been played then - though without the accompanying swearing.

Eastern Daily Press: The first vehicles to cross the new Herring Bridge in Great YarmouthThe first vehicles to cross the new Herring Bridge in Great Yarmouth (Image: Denise Bradley)The £121m Herring Bridge has been beset by problems, even before it opened.

Its construction was delayed first by the discovery of a Second World War German bomb in the river below and then by the possibility that endangered voles might be living nearby.

Eastern Daily Press: Hundreds of people turned out for the grand openingHundreds of people turned out for the grand opening (Image: Denise Bradley)Its grand opening on Thursday saw a procession of classic cars, emergency service vehicles and 200 schoolchildren become the first people to cross. 

In the afternoon, Great Yarmouth mayor Penny Carpenter and Norfolk County Council chairman Barry Stone cut the ribbons at both ends of the bridge, marking it officially open.