Published: 20:02, 02 January 2018 |
Updated: 21:20, 02 January 2018
The Dartford Crossing is being closed to traffic tonight as Kent prepares to be battered by Storm Eleanor.
Highways England says the step is being taken for "safety reasons" as winds of up to 60mph are expected to hit the county.
The crossing will be closed from 11pm, but is expected to re-open between before the morning rush-hour.
However, the agency warned that could change as strong winds are expected to remain until 2pm tomorrow.
A spokesoman said: "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.
"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."
Please aware that the #QEIIBridge #DartfordCrossing #A282 will be closed from 11pm for safety reasons, due to high winds expected throughout the night. Planned maintenance work has been cancelled to allow traffic to use the tunnels. See for info https://t.co/Zs812Sc6v0— Highways England (@HighwaysSEAST) January 2, 2018
Vehicles 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 anti-clockwise 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.
#StormEleanor affecting parts of the U.K. tonight. @EnvAgency currently showing:— Kent Fire & Rescue - Water Rescue (@KFRSWaterRescue) January 2, 2018
Severe Flood Warnings - 0
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Flood Alerts - 2 pic.twitter.com/tvkUUfUz2z
Planned maintenance work has been cancelled to allow both tunnels to be used.
Drivers are being encouraged to check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route and be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high sided vehicles, caravans motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space.
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