Work to repair the central reservation barriers on the Orwell Bridge is still scheduled to start on Thursday – and should be complete by the end of next week.

A spokesman for National Highways has confirmed details of the repair that the agency outlined earlier this month, despite Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey saying she didn't know why the temporary 40mph speed limit was still in force on the bridge.

Traffic has had to slow down from its usual 60mph limit on the bridge for six weeks after it was damaged in an accident.

The central barrier was broken when a car and lorry were in collision on the bridge on May 9. The bridge was closed for many hours and there were serious traffic problems across Ipswich as a result.

When the bridge did reopen, a temporary 40mph speed restriction was introduced on traffic in both directions.

That has remained in place - and at the start of this month a spokesman for National Highways said that because of the complexity of the repair specialist parts had to be ordered.

Now engineers are ready to start work.

On Tuesday Dr Coffey intervened, saying: “Today I have written to National Highways asking them why the temporary speed limit has been in place for over a month now and is not expected to be lifted until June 21 at the earliest.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese CoffeySuffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey (Image: PA)

It is understood this comment raised some eyebrows at the agency, with staff feeling if she had asked about the restrictions she would have been given the same answer as this newspaper received.

And the spokesman said everything was now in place to complete the work: "A section of the central barrier on Orwell Bridge is scheduled for repair on June 15 and this is expected to take around seven days.

"Once the work is complete, the temporary speed restriction is expected to be lifted.”

The temporary speed limit was necessary because any high-speed accident involving an incomplete or damaged central barrier could be potentially catastrophic.