Strong winds in Kent disrupt travel

by Alister POOLE on November 12, 2010

Mass transport closings are taking place as winds continue to berate Kent.

The strong winds and rough water has led to ferry delays across the board and the shutting down of traffic across Dartford bridge. The Highways Agency said that the QEII bridge at Dartford Crossing will remain closed for safety with officials monitoring the situation.

Cross-channel sailings with P&O Ferries have been halted and SeaFrance is seeing widespread delays. Kent Police announced that the A2 remained blocked after the cab roof on a lorry blew in the windshield of an HGV. Emergency crews had responded to the scene, which took place near Dover around 1145 GMT.

Kevin Richardson, the harbour master for the Port of Dover, stated that gusts of up to 55 knots were blowing offshore. He added that those speeds were Storm Force 10.

Mr Richardson said that, although ships were able to get in and out currently, tugs had been sent out to monitor the ships’ activities. He also said that high water is expected at Dover around 1415GMT, but the port should remain open.

A Highways Agency spokesman said that a contraflow was operating at Dartford Crossing and that north and south-bound traffic was allowed to cross the river at the tunnel bores.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said a contraflow was in operation at the Dartford crossing and both north and south-bound traffic were crossing the river through the tunnel bores. He did say, however, that queues would be longer at rush hour due to reduced capacity.

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