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Harbour's warning to mariners: No boats to be let through port for 17 nights

PUBLISHED: 10:21 25 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:21 25 October 2019

Work to replace a lifting mechanism on the Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft will affect mariners. Picture: Highways England

Work to replace a lifting mechanism on the Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft will affect mariners. Picture: Highways England

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Sailors have been warned they could face disruption as overnight works take place on the bascule bridge.

Last week it was announced that Highways England will carry out around 20 nights of maintenance works on the A47 bascule bridge in Lowestoft.

Now mariners and port-users have been advised that the "extensive maintenance works" will also result in overnight marine closures affecting both small boats and commercial vessels.

The Associated British Ports (ABP), who own and operate 21 ports in the UK, managing 25pc of the UK's sea-borne trade, announced only essential commercial vessel openings will be allowed.

In a post to twitter made yesterday, the harbour master said the port access will be closed for 12 consecutive nights from Monday, October 28 until Friday, November 8.

There will be a further closure from Sunday, November 10 until Thursday, November 14.

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During this time there will be "no small boat openings" and commercial vessel openings will only be accommodated "with a minimum of 12hrs notice, one hour either side of the HW and LW period."

The harbour master said: "Every attempt will be made to accommodate commercial requirements, including temporary allocation of berths in the Outer Harbour area

"It may be possible to accommodate small boat transits with any essential commercial vessel openings, although small boats will only be permitted to transit with a large commercial vessel if in the same direction of travel.

"Dates may change subject tot he porgress of works. If any additional closures are required an additional notice will be issued. Agents, owners and vessel masters are advised to bear these closures in mind when planning vessel movements in or out of the Port of Lowestoft."

The maintenance works are listed as "necessary improvement works" to replace one of the motors that helps lift the bascule bridge, and are planned to give the bridge a longer life span.

Earlier this summer, the bridge became stuck open causing massive queues for those driving through Lowestoft.

If more information is required, Lowestoft Port Control can be contacted on 01502 572286 or on VHF Ch13,

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