Suffolk MP blames HGV drivers for closures of Orwell Bridge

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Conservative MP Therese Coffey, who represents the Suffolk Coastal constituency, has blamed lorry drivers for closures of Orwell Bridge.

Last month, work started on a new £1.7million communication system featuring electronic signs that display changeable speed limits depending on wind speeds.

The purpose of the system is to reduce the amount of closures by automatically reducing the speed limits when strong winds are detected. At this moment in time, gusts of over 50mph are enough to close the bridge.

Temporary speed limits are also in place as staff work on the installation of the new system. However, Highways England claims some drivers (please note, there was no reference to lorry drivers here whatsoever) are ignoring the lower limits. As a result, the roads authority says the bridge will have to be closed overnight until the middle of March to ensure work can be conducted safely.

Commenting on the situation, Dr Coffey Tweeted:

Disappointed to learn from @HighwaysEAST that due to the selfish behaviour of some HGV drivers not keeping to the speed limit for safe roadworks that Orwell Bridge will have to be partially closed overnight for the next few weeks, causing disruption for others.

The overnight closures apply to one carriageway at a time on weekdays from 10pm to 6am until March 12th. The restriction is in place between junction 55 for Copdock and junction 58 for Seven Hills.

Photo credit: Amanda Slater / Wikimedia Commons