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'Welcome to Gridswich' - reaction to Orwell Bridge closure

PUBLISHED: 10:10 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:13 13 March 2019

Ipswich always faces severe traffic congestion when the Orwell Bridge closes Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich always faces severe traffic congestion when the Orwell Bridge closes Picture: GREGG BROWN

Commuters trying to get to work in Ipswich have expressed their misery about today's closure of the Orwell Bridge.

Highways England announced earlier this morning that the bridge would be closed in both directions from 7am because of the high winds from Storm Gareth.

Despite this announcement there was confusion from drivers, as the bridge was not fully closed until shortly after 8am.

Carrie Eley was unhappy with advice from Highways England, posting on the Ipswich Star Facebook page: “What’s the point in considering other routes when every single other route will be gridlocked?”

Daniel Clark summed up drivers’ frustration saying: “Welcome to Gridswich.”

Posting on the Ipswich Star Facebook page, Stephen Endean asked: “Why is it that it’s only started to get shut because of the wind in the last few years yet it has been there since the 80s and never used to get shut?

“Why don’t they rectify and modernise it to stop a tiny bit of wind causing complete mayhem?”

Bramford resident Lorna Woollard, who works in the Nacton Road area of Ipswich was stuck in her friends car for more than four hours this morning.

Speaking shortly after midday, she said: “We’ve been in the car for more than four hours and still have another two miles until we get to work.

“It’s not getting to work we’re concerned about now, it’s about how we’ll get home.

“We use the bridge every day and it’s a necessity for everyone who works in the area.

“We haven’t had any water – there’s nothing to drink in the car and I don’t think I’ve had a drop since 6.30am.

“It took us three hours to reach Copdock.”

Responding to drivers unhappy about the closure of the bridge, Jo Garrod-Spall posted on the East Anglian Daily Times Facebook page: “The bridge is closed maybe a couple of times a year to keep us safe.

“It must be a difficult decision to make for someone but surely better to be late than to never arrive at all. We live near a town with a high bridge so why not just accept sometimes it’s closed for our own safety.”

It has not yet been confirmed when the bridge will reopen but we will bring you the latest updates from Highways England as soon as we have them.

It is not just drivers that are facing disruption thanks to Storm Gareth. Ipswich Borough Council has closed all parks and recycling centres.











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