Saturday, March 2, 2024

Storm Doris causes chaos on Thurrock roads

2000 hrs

Good news, the Dartford Crossing has re-opened.

High bridges on motorways and major A roads have reopened this evening (Thursday 23 November) as high winds from Storm Doris begin to subside.

The A14 Orwell Bridge, near Ipswich in Suffolk and the A249 Sheppey Crossing in Kent are the latest bridges to reopen, at 8.30pm and 8.40pm respectively.

The Queen Elizabeth II bridge at the Dartford Crossing reopened just after 7.15pm, restrictions on high sided vehicles over the M62 Ouse Bridge ended just before 6pm, and the M6 Thelwall Viaduct near Warrington reopened around 4pm this afternoon.

Highways England teams have monitored conditions at each location closely throughout the day, removing restrictions as soon as it was safe to do so.

Safety is Highways England’s top priority and decisions to close a bridge during high winds is always based on the safety of road users, taking into account the speed and prevailing direction of the wind.

Drivers are being reminded that driving conditions may still remain challenging overnight, and should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. Recent figures have revealed that travelling too fast for the current conditions was identified as a factor in 1 in 9 road deaths in Great Britain last year, with drivers failing to alter how they drive in response to changing conditions on the road.

Highways England provides up-to-date traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms. Live incident updates are also available on Twitter. The latest weather forecast can be seen online at www.metoffice.gov.uk

Ends

1900 hrs

The QE2 Bridge is still shut and we have no estimated time re re-opening.

A number of Junctions near Thurrock are congested, such as Junction 31.

1810 hrs

Due to a train fault at Ockendon the line is blocked, services running through this station may be cancelled or delayed by up to 22 mins.

1730 hrs

This was the scene, earlier, at the Thurrock Hospital this morning.

Thurrock Hosp

1630 hrs

Some structural damage around Thurrock.

Doris 2

Doris 1

The A282 Dartford Crossing southbound is closed due to strong winds currently being experienced on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. These winds are expected to increase in intensity throughout the morning and afternoon and the bridge will remain closed until the wind speeds have reduced.

Southbound traffic for the Dartford Crossing is being diverted via one of the Dartford Tunnels. As a result of this diversion northbound traffic using the Crossing is being restricted to one tunnel which has a height restriction of 15′ 9″.

If you’re planning on using the Dartford Crossing in either direction please plan ahead and consider alternative routes. Please allow plenty of extra time for your journey as severe delays in both directions is highly likely.

1230 hrs

The A282 Dartford Crossing southbound is closed due to strong winds currently being experienced on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. These winds are expected to increase in intensity throughout the morning and afternoon and the bridge will remain closed until the wind speeds have reduced.

Southbound traffic for the Dartford Crossing is being diverted via one of the Dartford Tunnels. As a result of this diversion northbound traffic using the Crossing is being restricted to one tunnel which has a height restriction of 15′ 9″.

If you’re planning on using the Dartford Crossing in either direction please plan ahead and consider alternative routes. Please allow plenty of extra time for your journey as severe delays in both directions is highly likely.

1130 hrs

Reports that: Clockwise now queuing back to A127 junction at 29 (90+ minute delay); alternative route for cars/vans #M11 Blackwall Tunnel

==

The A282 Dartford Crossing southbound is closed due to strong winds currently being experienced on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. These winds are expected to increase in intensity throughout the morning and afternoon and the bridge will remain closed until the wind speeds have reduced.

Southbound traffic for the Dartford Crossing is being diverted via one of the Dartford Tunnels. As a result of this diversion northbound traffic using the Crossing is being restricted to one tunnel which has a height restriction of 15′ 9″.

If you’re planning on using the Dartford Crossing in either direction please plan ahead and consider alternative routes. Please allow plenty of extra time for your journey as severe delays in both directions is highly likely.

1030 hrs

Highways England is advising road users in the South East of England that the QEII Bridge at the Dartford Crossing is being closed to traffic this morning (Thursday 23 February) for safety reasons due to high winds.

The bridge, which carries traffic southbound across the Thames, closed at 10am and will be reopened as soon as wind speeds drop to a safe level. Until then, southbound traffic will use one bore of the Dartford Tunnel instead.

An amber alert for gales has been issued by the Met Office across the South East between 6am and 6pm on Thursday 23 February in response to the strong winds and heavy rain forecast during Storm Doris.

Gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are expected in the area, along with heavy rain and surface water. There is a particularly high risk to motorbikes, caravans and high-sided vehicles on exposed sections of the network.

Buffer lanes and speed restrictions were introduced on the QEII Bridge around 8:30am this morning.

Highways England will continue to monitor weather conditions at the A249 Sheppey Crossing.

Safety is Highways England’s top priority and any decision to close both bridges are based on the safety of road users, taking into account the speed and prevailing direction of the wind.

During the QEII Bridge closure, southbound traffic will be diverted via the East Tunnel (two lanes) while northbound traffic will continue to use just the West Tunnel (two lanes). Height restrictions will be in place, 4.8 metres for northbound traffic and 5.0 metres for all southbound vehicles.

Should the A249 Sheppey Crossing need to be closed traffic will use the Sheppey Way (which is the old bridge).

Live traffic information is being provided by Highways England via its website, Twitter and roadside electronic signs, and Highways England continues to monitor wind speeds closely.

Once the bridges are closed, they will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so. We are anticipating that this will not happen before 18:00 hrs.

Motorists who are still planning to travel on Thursday 23 February are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route. You can get the latest updates from local and national radio stations and online.

Drivers should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. Recent figures have revealed that travelling too fast for the current conditions was identified as a factor in one in nine road deaths in Great Britain last year, with drivers failing to alter how they drive in response to changing conditions on the road.

Highways England provides up-to-date traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms. The latest weather forecast can be seen online at www.metoffice.gov.uk

1000 hrs

TRAVEL: stationary traffic on the approach to the Dartford Tunnels with congestion on the M25 to J1b Princes Road

Highways Agency: “In process of closing #A282 #DartfordCrossing due to strong winds speeds. Will update to confirm when closed. Plan ahead if heading that way

0810 hrs

We have been advised that the Tilbury – Gravesend ferry is not operating due to #stormdoris

0730 hrs

From Highways Agency:
Lane restrictions from 8am
QE2 Bridge likely to close around 10am. Likely to be closed for most of day.
Southbound traffic to be diverted int tunnels.

0700 hrs

High winds have come to Thurrock. We will keep you up to date with any problems

A13 Westbound – Slow moving traffic between Five Bells Interchange (A176) and Stanford Le Hope (A1014)
Reply

Congestion at Junction 30 of M25.

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