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Queen Elizabeth II Bridge in Dartford closed until Christmas Eve

PUBLISHED: 12:43 23 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:46 23 December 2013

The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford is closed until Christmas Eve after another severe weather warning.

The bridge, which closed at noon today, is expected to remain shut for around 16 hours until 4am on Tuesday, causing huge disruption to commuters and holiday season travellers.

The Dartford tunnel will remain open, but major congestion is expected. Police are advising motorists to avoid the Thurrock and Dartford areas of Essex and Kent if possible.

The Highways Agency is advising road users to be cautious as strong winds and heavy rain are forecast across much of England from Monday morning though to late Tuesday morning.

The Agency has issued an amber alert, warning drivers to expect gusts of up to 70mph.

Road users driving high-sided vehicles, riding motorcycles or towing caravans are being urged to check traffic and weather conditions before setting out on journeys and to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on the strategic road network.

There are also warnings in place for vehicles which may look to use the Kingsferry Bridge/Sheppey Crossing and Jubilee Way in Dover.

John McTaggart, head of on-road services at the Highways Agency said: “We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions ahead of tomorrow.

“Road users are urged to check traffic and weather conditions before setting out on journeys and to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on the strategic road network.

“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space.

“In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow the clearly signed diversion routes.”

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