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Lorries urged to avoid Orwell Bridge this evening as winds up to 60mph predicted to hit Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 18:35 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:58 16 September 2017

Stock image of the Orwell Bridge. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Stock image of the Orwell Bridge. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Archant

Highways chiefs are urging lorry drivers not to use the Orwell Bridge this evening as winds of up to 60mph are expected from Storm Aileen.

Wet and windy weather is expected. Picture: ALISON CONNORSWet and windy weather is expected. Picture: ALISON CONNORS

The weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for 8pm this evening until 10am tomorrow morning as gusts of up to 60mph are expected to sweep across the region.

Wednesday will continue to be a blustery day even once the peak of the high winds has passed.

Dan Holley, Weatherquest forecaster, said: “Tuesday will be blustery with winds easing through the afternoon.

“It will be breezy with some sunny spells and isolated showers.

Torrential rain flooded Tuddenham Road in Ipswich yesterday. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTorrential rain flooded Tuddenham Road in Ipswich yesterday. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We will see rain spreading in from the west, especially overnight, with gusts coming in.

“We are probably looking at winds of 40-45 miles per hour, and around the coast we could see 55-60mph in the most exposed areas.”

Forecasters said the most exposed areas could hit as high as 65mph winds.

The strongest winds are expected between 3am and 11am tomorrow morning, although forecasters are still expecting a blustery day throughout with gusts remaining in the high 30s later in the day.

Highways England confirmed yesterday there were currently no plans to close Orwell Bridge, but would continue to monitor speeds and conditions throughout the day.

However, it has now urged drivers to take extra caution, and advised lorry drivers not to use the Orwell Bridge because of its exposure to the wind.

Lorry drivers are also being asked not to use Dartford Bridge during that time.

A Highways England spokesman said: “we will be keeping an eye on wind speeds and forecast at Orwell Bridge and will keep road users informed as soon as possible if we need to make plans to close it for safety reasons due to high winds.

“Drivers of lorries, caravans and motorbikes are being advised to avoid 53 exposed sections of the road network.

“We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys, with strong winds and heavy rain expected from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning.

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.”

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