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Orwell Bridge to stay OPEN despite Storm Francis winds

PUBLISHED: 10:44 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:45 25 August 2020

Highways England has no plans to close the Orwell Bridge today, despite high wind speeds.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Highways England has no plans to close the Orwell Bridge today, despite high wind speeds. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

There are no plans to close the A14 Orwell Bridge near Ipswich despite high winds from Storm Francis, Highways England officials have said.

However, contractors and traffic officers are on standby near the famous Suffolk landmark to close it should gusts increase above those forecast.

A weather warning for Storm Francis is in force for the next 24 hours as torrential rain and strong winds batter the country, with stronger gusts expected in coastal areas.

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Highways England has been monitoring the bridge and announced at 10am today that it has no plans to close it today.

The agency said: “We are not planning on closing the Orwell Bridge today.

“The wind speed and direction present a risk between midday and 4pm and we will have contractors and our traffic officers near the bridge on standby to close it just in case gusts increase well above forecast.”

Zoe Johnson, Weatherquest meteorologist, has predicted the gusts will increase in speed later this afternoon and could reach above the 50mph limit for the bridge.

MORE: Storm Francis arrives in Suffolk


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