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North Essex and Suffolk cut-off from London on Sunday as A12 and railway works coincide

PUBLISHED: 10:18 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18 18 May 2017

Repair work at Ewell Bridge on the A12 near Kelvedon in Essex. Picture: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Repair work at Ewell Bridge on the A12 near Kelvedon in Essex. Picture: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

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Travelling to and from London on Sunday, May 21, will be no mean feat for north Essex and Suffolk residents as parts of the railway line and the A12 will be simultaneously closed in Essex.

Highways England announced earlier this week that work to re-install the Ewell Bridge across the A12 at Kelvedon will take place this weekend.

• See time-lapse footage of the bridge being removed here.
To allow the bridge to be swung back into place the A12 will be closed in both directions from 10pm on Saturday, May 20, until 4am on Monday, May 22.

However, in its 18-month engineering works programme Network Rail had already put in place plans to close the Anglia railway line between Colchester and Ingatestone on Sunday.

It means rail replacement buses organised by train operator Greater Anglia will have to join the diversion.

Highways England will be signposting motorists to use the A120, A131 and A130, via Braintree, as an alternative to the A12 – which will be closed between junctions 23-24 northbound, and 25-24 southbound.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “Our work is typically booked in 18 months in advance, so we wouldn’t have known about the closure of the A12 at the time.

“Cancelling our work at short notice would be costly for the taxpayer and prevent us from carrying out improvements.”

A Greater Anglia spokeswoman added: “We have been working with Highways England to make sure our customers can complete their journeys on Sunday.

“Our southbound rail replacement buses will be given priority on their journey to stations south of Colchester, for customers to catch trains from Chelmsford or Ingatestone.

“We still expect traffic to be heavier as a result of the roadworks, so we are advising customers to check before they travel either on the Greater Anglia website, Twitter or app and to allow extra time for their journeys.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers by Network Rail’s engineering works. Our priority is to make sure everyone can complete their journeys.”

Highways England said in a statement: “Drivers should plan ahead and consider whether their journeys will be affected during that time before setting out.”

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Best-selling children’s author Nick Butterworth visited Ipswich today to officially open the Lodge Day Nursery.

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