Man denies 'causing public nuisance' over Orwell Bridge closure

Drivers stuck on the A14 after the Orwell Bridge closure

There were severe delays following the Orwell Bridge closure at the weekend - Credit: Rebecca Mansbridge

A man has denied a charge of causing a public nuisance on the Orwell Bridge over the weekend and will a face a crown court trial. 

Stuart Winney, 38, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court today and pleaded not guilty to the single charge at the short preliminary hearing. 

Severe delays were caused on the Orwell Bridge this evening

The bridge was closed for more than four hours - Credit: EMMA VINYARD-JONES/TWITTER

Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, told the court it is alleged that Winney went to the bridge on Saturday and made threats to jump off. 

The court heard that the bridge being closed for more than four hours is estimated to have cost around £160,000 to £170,000. 

Magistrates in Ipswich declined jurisdiction and sent the case to the crown court. 

People walking on the A14 after being stuck in traffic

People stuck in traffic during the closure on Saturday - Credit: Rebecca Mansbridge

Winney, who was represented in court by solicitor Paul Baker, will next appear at Ipswich Crown Court on September 6 for a plea and trial preparation hearing. 

Magistrates remanded Winney in custody ahead of his next court appearance. 

Police were called to the incident at the bridge at 4.50pm on Saturday.

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The A14 between the Nacton and Wherstead slip roads was closed for more than four hours as a result.

The road finally reopened around 9.30pm but caused considerable disruption to motorists and football fans leaving Ipswich Town's home game against Morecambe. 

Ambulance, lifeboat and coastguard crews were also sent to the scene shortly after 5.30pm on Saturday.