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EADT and Star says...Serious action needed over frustrating Orwell Bridge closures

PUBLISHED: 16:54 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:54 13 March 2019

The Orwell Bridge was closed for much of the day.  Picture: PETER CUTTS

The Orwell Bridge was closed for much of the day. Picture: PETER CUTTS

Peter Cutts

The frustration of Orwell Bridge closures, along with the subsequent delays and disruption they cause, is something we've felt all too many times before.

The Orwell Bridge was closed on Wednesday. Picture: PETER CUTTSThe Orwell Bridge was closed on Wednesday. Picture: PETER CUTTS

And while we understand Highways England is looking at ways it can solve the problem, the people of Suffolk need serious action - and soon.

Closing the bridge must be a tough choice for Highways England, which looks after the country’s motorways and A-roads.

MORE: Orwell Bridge could close again for second day as high winds continue

We’re sure it doesn’t take the decision lightly and does it in the interests of people’s safety - yet at the same time, we can understand people’s frustrations when it prevents them getting to work, attending a hospital appointment or their children going to school.

The Orwell Bridge closure caused traffic problems. Picture: PETER CUTTSThe Orwell Bridge closure caused traffic problems. Picture: PETER CUTTS

The cost to any potential solution is always a barrier - but when Ipswich Central business improvement district (BID) says it costs town firms £1million a day when the bridge closes, how long can we afford not to do anything?

MORE: What can be done over Orwell Bridge closures and how likely are these measures?

We realise Highways England is producing a report into the issue due to come back later this year. However the bridge could be closed two, three or more times before then if there are high winds.

A northern bypass has long been touted as the answer but this will not be a quick fix, so something is needed in the interim.

We need to be convinced Highways England is treating this with the urgency it needs.

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