Press release issued on behalf Highways England
Highways England is advising road users in the East of England that the A14 Orwell Bridge near Ipswich is likely to be closed tomorrow (Thursday 23 February) due to high winds.
An amber alert for gales has been issued by the Met Office across the East between 6am and 6pm on Thursday 23 February in response to the strong winds and heavy rain forecast during Storm Doris.
Gusts of around 70 miles per hour are expected on the A14, along with heavy rain and surface water. There is a particularly high risk to motorbikes, caravans and high-sided vehicles on exposed sections of the network.
Safety is Highways England’s top priority and any decision about whether to close the bridge will be based on the safety of road users, taking into account the speed and prevailing direction of the wind. Live traffic information will be provided by Highways England via its website, Twitter and roadside electronic signs.
While the bridge is open, Highways England will continue to monitor wind speeds closely.
If the Orwell Bridge is closed, the planned diversion route will be clearly signposted via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich. However, drivers will be asked to consider whether they need to travel around Ipswich during the closure as significant delays will be expected.
Drivers who are still planning to travel on Thursday 23 February are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route. You can get the latest updates from local and national radio stations and online.
Drivers should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. Recent figures have revealed that travelling too fast for the current conditions was identified as a factor in 1 in 9 road deaths in Great Britain last year, with drivers failing to alter how they drive in response to changing conditions on the road.
Highways England provides live traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms. Local weather information is also available on Twitter at @HighwaysEAST. The latest weather forecast can be seen online at https://www.metoffice.gov.uk
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