Road users advised that there is a possibility the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge will be closed this morning (Wednesday 3rd January) for safety reasons, due to strong winds from Storm Eleanor.
Highways England are closely monitoring wind speeds closely before making any decision to close the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and our decision will always be based on the safety of road users as a priority.
Due to the possibility of the closure of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge the east tunnel will remain closed throughout this morning as it needs to remain available at short notice to allow southbound traffic to divert from the Bridge.
Traffic travelling on the M25 anticlockwise to take the A282 from Kent into Essex via the Dartford Tunnels will be affected by the closure of the east tunnel and should expect significant delays as a result. If possible please consider alternative routes or delaying your journey until both tunnels have been returned to use by northbound traffic. Please note that the closure of the east tunnel means there will be a height restriction of 15’9 feet (4.8m) in place.
Should the bridge be closed traffic travelling on the M25 clockwise will be diverted through the east tunnel.
Drivers planning to travel are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route.
Tuesday 1900 hrs
HIGHWAYS England is advising road users in the South East and East of England that the Dartford Crossing bridge will be closed from 11pm tonight (Tuesday 2 January) for safety reasons, due to high winds, and is expected to re-open between before the peak period tomorrow morning (Wednesday 3 January).
Highways England will continue to monitor wind speeds closely before making any decision to reopen the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, based on the safety of road users. While the bridge is expected to open before the morning rush hour, this could change as the wind speeds are forecast to be high until 2pm tomorrow. The crossing will remain open with the tunnel operating in both directions when the bridge is closed.
The east tunnel will close at 9pm tonight to allow time to build crossovers in preparation for the bridge closure. The bridge will be closed from 11pm, although this may move with the forecast updates. Traffic should have switched to using the tunnels by midnight.
Traffic travelling on the M25 anticlockwise to take the A282 from Kent into Essex via the Dartford Tunnels will be affected from 9pm when the east tunnel is closed to traffic, rendering the west tunnel only for anticlockwise traffic.
Traffic travelling on the M25 clockwise to take the A282 from Essex into Kent will not be affected until the closure at 11pm, at which point they will be diverted through the east tunnel.
Tonight’s planned maintenance works have been cancelled to allow both tunnels to be used.
Drivers planning to travel are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route. You can get latest forecast from BBC weather, the Met Office, and local radio.
Drivers making journeys across the region should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high sided vehicles, caravans motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space.
Highways England provides live traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms. Local weather information is also available on Twitter at @highwaysSEAST The latest weather forecast can be seen online at www.metoffice.gov.uk