Storm Ciara: High winds could close the Humber Bridge for the first time in its history on Sunday

The Humber Bridge could be closed to all traffic tomorrow if Storm Ciara is as violent as predicted. Although the bridge regularly bans high-sided vehicles and pedestrians during inclement weather, it has never had to close completely since it first opened in 1981. There has been one previous closure in the structure's history, but it was not weather-related - in 2016, the bridge was shut when a HGV was left dangling over the edge of the footway after a crash.

Storm Ciara: This is all you need to know about the weather bomb set to hit Yorkshire
The design of the bridge ensures that the road deck usually remains stable during high winds. It is made up of 124 steel boxes in the formation of an upside-down aircraft wing. Humber Bridge Board head of engineering Andrew Arundel has warned drivers that safety is paramount and that if the predicted gusts of 60-80mph materialise then access to the bridge will have to be prevented.

The Met Office have issued a severe weather warning from 6pm on Saturday and warned that Storm Ciara could be the worst to hit the UK in seven years, with a possible risk to life. The Humber Bridge Board's website and social media accounts will be updated regularly throughout the weekend. If access to the bridge is blocked, then the distance between Hull and Grimsby increases by around 40 miles and drivers have to travel via Goole.

Before the Humber Bridge opened, commuters had to cross the river on the Humber Ferry or a hovercraft service, or drive to Goole on a road that was single-carriageway until the 1970s and cross at the Ouse. The extending of the M62 did improve the area's connectivity in the years before the bridge was built. Storm Ciara's expected arrival has already led to the decision to close North Yorkshire tourist attractions RHS Harlow Carr, near Harrogate, and Fountains Abbey and the Studley Royal estate, near Ripon.

The majority of trains between Yorkshire and London are not running on Sunday.

You may also like...