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Bridges closed as Storm Katie winds top 60mph

The Queen Elizabeth bridge across the River Thames between Essex and Kent is closed due to high winds. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The Queen Elizabeth II bridge at the Dartford Crossing and the Orwell Bridge on the A14 in Suffolk have been closed because of high winds from Storm Katie.

Winds in south Essex have been gusting above 60 mph.

The QEII bridge takes southbound traffic to Kent around the M25, which is now using one of the tunnels under the Thames. The M25 southbound entry slip road is also closed.

The A14 in Suffolk is closed in both directions between J56 and J57 near Ipswich due to strong winds being experienced on the Orwell Bridge. Road users are being diverted via local roads through Ipswich.

Highest wind gusts in the Anglia region on Monday 28 March 2016

  • 62 mph in Shoeburyness, Essex
  • 58 mph in Wattisham, Suffolk
  • 57 mph at Southend airport, Essex
  • 53 mph at Andrewsfield near Braintree, Essex
  • 52 mph in Lakenheath, Suffolk
  • 50 mph at Norwich airport, Norfolk
  • 50 mph in Holbeach, Lincolnshire
  • 50 mph in Weybourne, Norfolk

A Met Office yellow weather warning is in force for strong winds in parts of the Anglia region on Easter Monday until 3pm

Send your pictures of the stormy weather to

Tunnel vision: New Thames crossing to boost economy

A new Thames tunnel is aimed at relieving congestion at the Dartford Crossing. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Plans for a new Thames tunnel that could give a huge boost to our region's economy have been firmed up by Highways England.

The planned new road linking the M25 in Essex and the M2 in Kent will cost billions but should relieve congestion on the Dartford Crossing.

Click below to watch a report on the proposed new crossing by ITV News Anglia's Liz Summers


New tunnel under Thames linking Essex and Kent

There are plans for a new tunnel under the Thames to link Essex and Kent Credit: Highways England

Shortlisted proposals have been put forward for a new tunnel under the River Thames in Essex to ease pressure on the Dartford Crossing.

The new tunnel will link a new junction on the M25 with Tilbury in Essex and Gravesend in Kent.

After looking at various options Highways England is recommending a tunnel from East Tilbury in Essex under the river to Chalk in Kent.

A new junction would be built on the M25 between junctions 29 and 30 with a road leading through to Orsett and then onto the new tunnel.

It would be the first new crossing of the Thames east of London since the Queen Elizabeth II bridge opened at Dartford 25 years ago.

Lanes closed on M25 Dartford Crossing in strong winds

Two lanes of the Dartford Crossing are closed because of strong winds. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

There is very slow traffic on the Dartford Crossing bridge from Essex into Kent because of severe weather conditions.

Two lanes are closed due to strong winds on M25 clockwise at A282 (QE2 Bridge). Lanes one and three of the four lanes are closed on the bridge for safety, as lorries are getting blown around in the gusts.

Elsewhere, there are reports of a tree blocking the A140 Norwich to Ipswich road at Tasburgh near Long Stratton in Norfolk. Trees have also been brought down in other parts of the region with warnings for drivers to take care on the roads.

Wind gusts of 61mph were recorded at Marham in Norfolk and Wittering in Cambridgeshire at 10am on Saturday.


Video of work to make it quicker and easier to pay at the Dartford Crossing

The Highways Agency has released a time-lapse video of work to make it quicker and easier to pay the toll for using the Dartford Crossing between Essex and Kent.

The video shows the installation of five new gantries that have been installed at the entrance to the Dartford tunnels and on the Queen Elizabeth II bridge.

The gantries will hold cameras and sensors for the new Dart Charge being introduced in October. That will allow drivers to pre-pay the charge or pay online so they won't need to stop at the toll booths.

The Highways Agency says 170,000 vehicles a day use the crossing and the new system will improve journeys and reduce congestion.

Tolls set to rise on Dartford Crossing

Every day thousands of motorists use either the Queen Elizabeth the 2nd bridge or the Dartford tunnel to get to and from Essex to Kent.

But from this weekend, there's going to be a big rise in toll charges. And there'll be another in two years time to help fund a £500m scheme to remove the tolls - increases that have been criticised by local haulage companies. Malcolm Robertson reports.

Toll cost set to soar from Sunday

From Sunday, motorists using the Dartford crossing between Essex and Kent face increases in the toll charges.

They'll be going up by more than 30% - and a further rise is planned in two years time.

It's to pay for an estimated £500m scheme that'll do away with the toll booths. Inevitably, these increases are proving unpopular - as Malcolm Robertson reports.

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