UPDATE: Disruption on roads across Kent as Storm Doris winds shut QEII Bridge at Dartford AND Sheppey Crossing

PUBLISHED: 13:49 23 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:49 23 February 2017

Dartford Crossing

Dartford Crossing

(C) 2005 Hemera Technologies

Gusts of 70mph are battering the county

Motorists are being warned of disruption at the Dartford Crossing today (Thursday) as Storm Doris batters the county.

Gusts of up to 70mph are expected in the area, along with heavy rain and surface water.

Speed restrictions and buffer lanes were already in place from 8.30am for motorists using the southbound crossing

At 10am, the QEII Bridge was closed to traffic crossing from Essex into Kent, and is not expected to reopen until wind speeds drop to a safe level.

Until then, southbound traffic is being diverted through one of the tunnels.

Highways England has warned of a particular risk to motorbikes, caravans and high-sided vehicles.

A spokesperson said: “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.”

The Sheppey Crossing has also been closed for safety reasons, with motorists being diverted onto the old Kingsferry Bridge.

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