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Storm Doris: How Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth fared

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Storm Doris caused gridlock in Bishop’s Stortford as lorries and trees fell victim to high winds. Wind speeds reached 70mph by Thursday afternoon (February 24), causing a lorry to overturn[2] on the M11 at junction 8 (Bishop’s Stortford). The motorway had to be closed to vehicles heading north, with traffic being diverted along the A120 towards the A10, causing heavy delays during the evening rush hour.

Delays continued until 9pm as work was carried out to recover the lorry. Another overturned on the M11 southbound between junctions 10 (A505 Duxford) and 11 (A11 Saffron Walden), closing one lane.

A fallen tree was the causing of queues[3] of traffic in Spellbrook on Cambridge Road (A1184). It was brought down on the northbound section of the road near the junction with Spellbrook Lane East. In Sawbridgeworth, the storm claimed[4] another tree in the churchyard at Great St Mary’s.

The 200-year-old horse chestnut tree came down shortly after 2pm, narrowly missing a war memorial and gas main as it came down. Parochial church councillor Peter Clarke said: “It’s an old tree that generations of children have conkered and it was quite fortunate it happened just before the children came home from school along that path.

“It’s probably a couple of hundred years old, it’s absolutely enormous.” The tree fell across two footpaths, but missed the church building itself and vehicles in the car park escaped damage. Mr Clarke said: “It missed the war memorial by a few feet and missed the church and a gas main by a few feet.

“It fell in the right direction but I think it’s come as quite a shock to all the local people from the number of people who have been stopping and looking at it.”

Within an hour tree surgeons The Whitelaw Brothers had started on clearing the routes through the churchyard.

NEXT STORY: Hertfordshire taxpayers to pay five per cent more in council tax from April[5]


  1. ^ Comments (0) (www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk)
  2. ^ overturn (www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk)
  3. ^ queues (www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk)
  4. ^ claimed (www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk)
  5. ^ Hertfordshire taxpayers to pay five per cent more in council tax from April (www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk)

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