MP slams 'selfish' lorry drivers for causing Orwell Bridge closures

Funding to aid traffic problems on the A14 in Suffolk are linked with a requirement to build 30,000

MP Therese Coffey criticised lorry drivers who ignored the speed limits - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Lorry drivers flouting speed limits near roadworks have been dubbed "selfish" by Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey - after their behaviour caused more Orwell Bridge closures.

Work on installing a new communication system, which includes electronic signs that display changeable speed limits during high winds, began last month.

The new system is designed to minimise closures due to high winds, by bringing in lower speed limits during windy weather. Currently, the bridge has to close during winds of 50mph or more.

However, Highways England says motorists have been ignoring temporary speed limits while crews have been working.

It said the situation is of a “serious concern” and overnight closures lasting until mid-March will now be enforced to ensure work can be completed safely.

Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal Picture: ARCHANT

Therese Coffey said the lorry drivers' behaviour was 'causing disruption for others'

Reacting to the news, Dr Coffey Tweeted: "Disappointed to learn from @HighwaysEAST that due to the selfish behaviour of some HGV drivers not keeping to the speed limit for safe roadworks that Orwell Bridge will have to be partially closed overnight for the next few weeks, causing disruption for others."

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The closures will apply weeknights until March 12, with one carriageway closed at a time between 10pm and 6am.

They will stretch from junction 55 for Copdock and junction 58 for Seven Hills.

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The westbound carriageway is currently closing at night, with the eastbound carriageway closing every weekday from February 18 until Wednesday, February 24.

Closures of the Orwell Bridge have been much publicised in Suffolk. Picture: ARCHANT

The works are designed to reduce closures on the Orwell Bridge longer-term - Credit: Archant

The westbound carriageway will again close next Thursday and Friday, before work switches to the eastbound carriageway between March 1 and March 5.

Work will finish with the final closure on the westbound carriageway from March 8 to March 12. 

The works are set to cost £1.7million in total. 

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