Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

New Orwell Bridge closure plan nearing completion with diversion plans set to be included

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 October 2017

Highways England is putting together a new protocol for the Orwell Bridge. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Highways England is putting together a new protocol for the Orwell Bridge. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A new plan for dealing with Orwell Bridge closures is nearing completion – with details on diversions and how the public is informed set to be included.

Traffic in Ipswich ground to halt after the fatal crash on the Orwell Bridge on Friday morning. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTraffic in Ipswich ground to halt after the fatal crash on the Orwell Bridge on Friday morning. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

During a summit held on Wednesday last week, Highways England updated members of Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk police and Associated British Ports on progress for its new protocol, while those organisations have been giving feedback during six-monthly meetings.

A spokesman from Highways England said it was applying the “finishing touches” to the new protocol, which will be unveiled with a presentation when it is completed.

Within the new document is expected to be details on how strong winds must be to trigger a bridge closure, why the bridge has to be closed and when it re-opens, what the diversion routes are and how the public and media are informed.

A dedicated webpage is also being set up with travel updates.

The news comes after police closed the bridge for more than eight hours on Friday last week following a fatal road traffic accident.

During last week’s bridge closures, motorists were facing lengthy delays as traffic had to be diverted through Ipswich town centre, causing gridlock on some of the town’s already-busy roads.

Motorists heading into Ipswich from Colchester reported journeys of three-hours, while the bridge is used by thousands of lorries each day to get to and from the Port of Felixstowe.

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said the work carried out on Friday was in line with its usual serious road traffic collision investigation, which differs to its work in helping close the bridge during high winds.

“Police investigation of serious and fatal collisions needs to be carried out in a thorough manner, as initially the scene has to be protected, evidence gathered and witnesses spoken to,” she said.

“Enquiries can take a number of hours to complete, and our duty of care to road users means that roads cannot be reopened until the highway is clear of any hazard that may affect use of the road.”

A high wind protocol for the Orwell Bridge was published in January 2015, but it is understood all affected parties are keen to make improvements from lessons learnt during Storm Doris in February, when high winds forced the bridge to be closed.

On Thursday, an update is to be presented at the IBC strategic overview committee.

Two Ipswich residents have been left with bills of more than £1,000 between them after subjecting their neighbours to late-night, high-volume music by Status Quo and Natalie Imbruglia.

Police were unable to act on five cases of adults having sex with teenagers in their care over the last four years due to a legal loophole, the NSPCC has revealed.

Eagle-eyed shoppers will have noticed that the former Grimwade’s store in Ipswich town centre is fast transforming, and Pret A Manger will soon be opening their first store in town.

From rambling stories about dispensing sockfulls of change into an ATM to regaling the vagaries of living with a jazz musician, Irish funnyman David O’Doherty’s latest bonkers brand of comedy proved a hit.

An Ipswich teenager representing the town at the UK’s Youth Parliament has called for more action on knife crime during a debate in the House of Commons.

A crunch summit between Shotley Pier stakeholders is being held to try and decide on the plans for the future of the Suffolk tourist attraction.

Table tennis, jamaoke sessions and a ‘Quizzee Rascal Wednesday’ are all on offer at new Waterfront bar Wiff Waff opening tonight (Friday).

The new-look Cornhill will host thousands of people next week for the Ipswich Town Hall Christmas lights switch on.

If you are a parent of a three or four year old you will have received a letter from Suffolk County Council about school places this week. But what do you do next?

A motorist was stopped in Ipswich after vehicle checks found the car not to have a valid MOT.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24