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A14 over Orwell Bridge REOPENS as winds brought by Storm Doris die down

PUBLISHED: 21:35 23 February 2017 | UPDATED: 22:53 23 February 2017

People brave the Felixstowe prom as Storm Doris hits the coast. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

People brave the Felixstowe prom as Storm Doris hits the coast. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Nearly 11 hours after it was closed, motorists are now able to use the Orwell Bridge.

The A14 over the River Orwell was shut around 10am by Highways England because of concerns the high winds brought to East Anglia by Storm Doris could make driving over the bridge dangerously hazardous.

It was in response to Met Office warnings that wind speeds could reach 70mph.

However the bridge was reopened around 10.30pm after the worst of the storm passed.

A diversion had been in place through Ipswich via Felixstowe Road (A1156), Bixley Road and Heath Road (A1189), and Colchester Road, Valley Road, Chevallier Street, Yarmouth Road and London Road (A1214).

Roads across the town experienced severe disruption because of the diversion, while heading towards the town the A12 northbound at one point was backed up as far as East Bergholt.

Much of the eastbound A14 between Copdock and Sproughton, and Bramford and Claydon, was also queuing or moving very slowly during the peak evening rush hour.

Last time the bridge closed, chaos sparked in the town centre with gridlocked routes across Ipswich.

Traffic was building all day around the Copdock Interchange – with one driver, who was travelling from Bury St Edmunds on the A14 to Colchester, saying traffic had been stationary for about half an hour.

In Ipswich the borough council advised that all the evening outdoor activities it organises have been cancelled for tonight.

People were also asked to avoid the town centre if at all possible, and to find other routes for their journeys to minimise disruption.

Many parts of Suffolk and Essex have also experienced power cuts throughout the day.

Police are advising drivers to stay indoors unless their journeys are vital, See more here

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