Orwell Bridge to close as Met Office issues warning of up to 70mph winds

Highways England believe the bridge will remain open Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Highways England has confirmed the Orwell Bridge will close tonight - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Highways England has confirmed the planned closure of the Orwell Bridge tonight amid warnings of high winds.

Winds of up to 70mph are predicted to cause travel disruption as stormy overnight weather threatens to batter parts of Suffolk.

Highways England said the bridge would close from 8pm tonight and will be expected to safely reopen by 3am.

When does the Orwell Bridge have to close?

A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for a six-hour spell tonight, with strong winds expected to cause some delays to road, rail, air and sea travel across the East of England.

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Forecasters said delays are likely for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges, while some coastal routes, seafronts and coastal communities will be affected by spray or large waves.

The warnings will be in place from 9pm to 3am and come as wind strengths increasing later today, peaking overnight, with inland gusts 40 to 50mph, but 50-60 mph along some coasts, and perhaps towards 70 mph in the most exposed areas.

High winds and rain on the coast of Suffolk could be making waves this week Picture: SARAH LUCY BROW

High winds could cause large waves on the Suffolk coast - Credit: Archant

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Highways England said it would continue to monitor wind speeds closely before deciding about when to reopen the A14 bridge. 

When the Orwell Bridge is closed, the diversion route is via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich.

Drivers planning to travel in the area are advised to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route.

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