Orwell Bridge’s new lower speed limit should be in place before Easter

60 mph signs and average speed cameras on the Orwell Bridge, Ipswich

60 mph signs and average speed cameras on the Orwell Bridge, Ipswich

A new 60mph speed limit is set to come into force on the A14 Orwell Bridge before Easter after the installation of signs and new average speed cameras.

The finishing touches to the road should be complete today following a final overnight closure of the bridge.

Once that has been completed Highways England will be ready to formally introduce the limit and switch on the cameras.

It is hoped that the new limit – 10mph slower than the current 70mph limit – will reduce the number of accidents on the bridge, which often force traffic to be diverted through central Ipswich and cause major congestion problems.

Although it has always been rare for traffic to be able to travel faster than 60mph on the bridge, it is hoped that the presence of the average speed cameras will encourage drivers to take more care.

A spokeswoman for Highways England said: “We are almost there with the work on the bridge.

“We had aimed for the end of March and we are going to make that.

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“There is very little left to do and the new limit will come into force within a week or two.”

Once the cameras are switched on they will be linked to the police central ticketing office to issue fixed penalty notices to any drivers who exceed the 60mph speed limit over the bridge.

The news that the work is being completed was welcomed by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, who has been trying to find a way of easing congestion in and around the town.

He said: “This is very good news. It should reduce the number of crashes on the bridge and therefore bring down the number of congestion incidents in the town centre.”

The signs are already up on the A14 and the speed limit is painted on the roads – all that remains is for the “Cameras not working” signs to be removed.

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