Great Belt Bridge fire causes massive delays on Danish motorway

Traffic on Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge, which connects the islands of Zealand and Funen, was at a standstill for several hours on Monday after a lorry caught fire.

Great Belt Bridge fire causes massive delays on Danish motorway
Photo:Mathias Øgendal/Ritzau Scanpix

The fire on the bridge halted traffic in both directions between 1:30pm and 4pm, Ritzau reports.

Rail services were also delayed by the fire.

The incident caused extensive queues on the motorway on Monday afternoon before traffic began flowing at 5pm after the bridge was fully reopened.

“The road has now been cleared and both lanes of the Great Belt Bridge are open on the Funen-bound side. The closure has caused a massive queue that will take a while to clear, so expect long travel times until early evening,” the Danish Road Directorate (Vejdirektoratet) wrote on Twitter at 5pm on Monday.

Funen Police had confirmed at 4pm that the bridge had been partially reopened after the fire.

“There is serious queuing because of the lorry, which must be cleared, but traffic towards Zealand is beginning to look regular again,” duty officer Sten Nyland told Ritzau.

The lorry that caught fire was travelling towards Funen when the incident occurred. Thick, black smoke poured from the burning truck, obscuring visibility in both directions on the bridge.

Traffic in both directions was subsequently halted will emergency services tackled the fire. The truck was carrying food waste, according to Funen Police.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown and no injuries are reported as a result of the incident.

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Car drivers overcharged for crossing Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge

Drivers of small cars may have overpaid in tolls when crossing the Great Belt Bridge. The bridge's toll operator has urged customers to check billing information.

Car drivers overcharged for crossing Denmark's Great Belt Bridge
Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Operating company Sund & Bælt has encouraged customers to get in touch if they have paid too much to cross the bridge, which connects Zealand with Funen.

The problem, first reported by Fyens Stiftstidende, stems from number plate recognition or used of the BroBizz payment tag.

Payment equipment has in some cases incorrectly registered the size of some vehicles using these payment forms.

The issue first began occurring in December following the replacement of parts in the toll booths.

“We started in September and were finished close to a week before Christmas, changing the entire motor in the payment machine,” operations manager Palle Nygaard told Fyens.

“So there have clearly been a few teething problems, and one of those is that we not have classified (vehicles) quite as well as usual,” he added.

The exact number of incorrect classifications was unclear, but “a couple of percent each day out of 35,000 ends up being a fair few”, Nygaard said.

The Sund & Bælt operations manager told DR that “particularly, customers with very small cars have been charged a higher price than they are used to”.

A single journey in a private car of up to 3 metres in length should cost a toll of 130 kroner, while the toll for a car of 3-6 metres’ length is 245 kroner.

Customers who think they may have been overcharged can check the invoices or receipts they receive, for example via email for BroBizz users.

These will show the category for which tolls were charged.

“You should contact customer service (for a refund) if you find you have paid a different amount than you are used to,” Nygaard told DR.

“If you pay by card (at the bridge) and see that the price is wrong, you can press ‘help’ and get the problem fixed,” he added.

The company expects to fix the issue during the first quarter of 2020.

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