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Welsh taxi driver fined for moving safety barriers on closed bridge to avoid long detour

24 Sep 2019

A taxi driver in Wales has been fined and ordered to pay costs after driving over a damaged bridge to avoid the long detour.

The 55-year-old Gwynedd taxi driver moved the safety barriers to clear a path over the structurally damaged bridge to avoid travelling the eight mile detour.

The Grade 2 listed Pont Bodfel (Bodfel Bridge), situated on the A497 in Boduan, Gwynedd, was cordoned off back in January due to structural damage.

David Gwynedd Morris appeared before the Caernarfon Court on Monday, after being summonsed for interfering with traffic equipment.

Morris was captured on film by one of his passengers, shifting the safety barriers off the road and lifting a traffic cone to the side of the A487. The footage from his passenger was posted onto social media and North Wales Police were alerted.

Police enquiries began and Morris was identified as being the taxi driver.
At Caernarfon Court, David Gwynedd Morris was fined £250, ordered to pay £775 CPS costs and pay a £30 victim surcharge.

Sergeant Meurig Jones of the Roads Policing Unit said: “This was a costly mistake by Morris, who risked lives by moving the barriers and cone that were placed there for safety reasons.

“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.

“We’d like to thank the passenger who filmed the whole incident and then placed it onto social media, despite not willing to provide a statement this was a successful prosecution. I hope that the sentence will send a message to anybody who is caught doing something similar that they will be brought to justice.”

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

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