December 10 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 28, 2013
Road and rail travellers were facing major disruption on Monday as a huge storm was due to hit the region.
Greater Anglia rail services were suspended until 9am – effectively closing down the network during the rush hour – and the Orwell Bridge was due to close, forcing traffic through Ipswich.
Potential travellers were being advised to stay at home during the morning if at all possible as winds of up to 80mph were forecast.
Greater Anglia took the decision to suspend services after discussions with Network Rail on Sunday afternoon.
A spokeswoman said: “Weather permitting, a reduced service will operate from 9am with speed restrictions in place, however customers are likely to experience disruption to journeys throughout the day.
“These plans are based on advise that high winds of up to 75mph are forecast across our region early on Monday morning.
“This presents a significant risk of falling trees/branches, damage to railway equipment and will severely limit our ability to safely and quickly respond to any incidents which may occur.”
She said the company was working with Network Rail overnight and extra staff were being brought in to try to ensure the network opens as soon as possible on Monday.
The company would update its website (greateranglia.co.uk) and Twitter feed (@greateranglia) during the morning with the latest advice and customers are strongly advised to check the latest travel information before setting out.
Meanwhile the Orwell Bridge is expected to be closed until Monday lunchtime because of strong winds – forcing any traffic on to the roads in Ipswich.
Neil Evans, deputy head of emergency planning at Suffolk County Council, was in regular contact with the Highways Agency which is responsible for the A14 (including the Orwell Bridge) and said that would probably remain closed until winds dropped below 50mph, which might not happen until the middle of the day.
Teams were on standby to clear any fallen trees, or other debris, from the county’s other roads.
He said: “This looks to be the first major incident since the county’s highways team was transferred (to Kier MG earlier this month) but everyone is as prepared as we can be.”