Man in court over gantry collision

A DOWNEND man has appeared in court charged over a collision involving a tipper truck and a motorway gantry.

The collision on the M5 between the Cribbs Causeway and Avonmouth junctions in March closed the motorway for nine hours in both directions, with the southbound carriageway closed for a whole day.

The motorway closed for another 12 hours two days later, for the gantry to be removed after it was damaged by the tipper lorry bed, which became detached in the collision.

Anthony Baker, aged 47, of Garnett Place in Downend, was charged with dangerous driving following the incident and appeared at Bristol Crown Court in August, when he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

He has been released on unconditional bail before a trial, which is expected to take place next summer.

No-one was injured in the incident but the gantry and electronic signs were badly damaged.