M25 Dartford Crossing QE11 Bridge closure: Police incident involving Just Stop Oil - when will it re-open?
Police are currently on the scene as protest group Just Stop Oil close the M25 Dartford Crossing Bridge for a second consecutive day.
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All traffic has been held by authorities since as early as 3.50am on Monday morning as police continue to deal with the situation.
The route, popular with commuters , has seen long queues of traffic form with the effects of the enforced closure of the M25 Dartford Crossing QE11 Bridge felt both clockwise and anticlockwise. Diversions are currently in place as National Highways deal with the congestion.
Why has the M25 Dartford Crossing QE11 Bridge closed?
The incident is believed to have occurred as early as 3am on Monday taking place clockwise between J31 A1306 and J1A A206. It is reported that two individuals had climbed onto the structure and were “currently at height”. Due to the health and safety implications involved, authorities decided it was best to close the bridge.
Climate change protest group Just Stop Oil has confirmed its responsibility for the chaos caused on the M25 with two members having climbed the North side of the bridge.
In a statement issued by Essex Police on Monday, they said: “Officers are currently working to resolve a situation which has caused us to close the QE11 Bridge at the Dartford Crossing. We received a report shortly before 3.50am today [Monday] that two people had climbed onto the bridge and are currently at height.
“The bridge has been closed as we resolve the incident which we will do as quickly and safely for all involved. It does mean that we have had to close the bridge to traffic, but a diversion is going to be put in place through the tunnel.
“This is likely to cause delays throughout the morning and this incident may take some time to resolve due to the complexities of safely getting people down from height. Please plan your journey, we appreciate your patience and understanding.”
It has caused significant delays and queues of traffic near and around the area, especially on the A13 in both directions approaching the M25.
When is the M25 Dartford Crossing QE11 Bridge expected to reopen?
It has been confirmed delays now exceed two hours, with traffic extending out to J29 A127 (Upminster) and past J2 A2 (Darenth Interchange). There are also queues either side heading towards and away from Tilbury, Wennington, Purfleet, Thurrock and Grays.
National Highways has been updating commuters and the general public on a regular basis throughout the morning.
Its most recent update, which was posted on Twitter at around 7am on Tuesday (October 18), reads: “A reminder, the QE11 Bridge at Dartford Crossing remains CLOSED this morning due to the ongoing protest activity.
“There’s already six miles of congestion on approach in both directions. Please consider alternative routes for your journey.”
Worryingly for motorists, climate change group Just Stop Oil has warned that the bridge could be closed for at least 24 hours.
An exact time and date as to when the bridge will return to business-as-usual is yet to be determined.
This is a developing breaking news story, it will be updated as and when more information has been confirmed.