Boats trapped as bridge stays shut

Routine repair work has left a railway swing bridge across a waterway on the Broads in the shut position, trapping tall boats on either side. Owners of boats which cannot pass under Reedham Bridge are were angry after finding themselves stuck at Brundall.

Routine repair work has left a railway swing bridge across a waterway on the Broads in the shut position, trapping tall boats on either side.

Owners of boats that cannot pass under Reedham Bridge at Reedham, near Yarmouth, were angry yesterday after finding themselves stuck at Brundall.

Network Rail has locked the bridge in place over concerns about its safety and now has barges and scaffolding under it to carry out inspection work.

Trains were still travelling across it yesterday at slow speeds as Network Rail said it had no concerns about it being able to support their weight.

The Broads Authority said all hire boats and most private vessels would be able to pass under the bridge. Angie Leeper, the authority's waterways officer, said only the tallest sea-faring boats would be unable to pass and sail boats could get under with masts lowered.

She said the authority had a legal obligation to keep the waterway open and the problem would be resolved as quickly as possible.