Electronic signs warn drivers of dangers on Orwell Bridge after spike in rush hour accidents during winter months

Orwell Bridge

Orwell Bridge - Credit: Archant

Keep your distance - this is the warning being issued to drivers using the Orwell Bridge this winter.

The Highways Agency will use electronic signs along the bridge to help reduce the number of accidents now the clocks have gone back and the days are shorter.

Statistics show that drivers are seven and a half times more likely to have an accident after the clocks go back in the autumn than they are in the summer months.

The signs will be switched on between 6am and 10am, and from 3pm to 7pm each day this week.

Brian Pitkin, asset development manager for the Highways Agency, said: “The number of accidents during peak hours on the Orwell Bridge increases once the clocks change in the autumn.

“As part of our work to try to reduce the number of accidents, working with Suffolk police, we will be displaying ‘Keep your distance’ messages on the electronic signs as drivers approach the bridge. We will display the messages for one week so they don’t lose their impact with drivers.”

Figures from 2009 to 2011 show there were 14 collisions which caused injuries between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on week days, of which 10 were between October and December.