Road traffic officials have confirmed that the Dartford Tunnel has been temporarily closed due to high winds. According to the latest updates from the scene, both Tunnel 1 and Tunnel 2 are ‘swaying excessively’ due to the latest adverse weather, and strong gusts have been concentrated within each tunnel – earlier today this led to a number of vehicles being blown out of the other end.
Dutch motorist Barry Voortechs described what he said was a ‘terrifying experience’ earlier today. He said: ‘I entered the tunnel in very strong winds at 45 miles per hour to ensure that I was under the speed limit, and all of a sudden I felt my car being pushed along – I had no control whatsoever. Within a few seconds, I noticed that my speed had increased to 100 miles per hour and my brakes were useless. I passed the speed camera and it flashed, but hopefully the operator will see sense and take no further action.’
Nigel Payd is the Operations Manager for Dartford Crossing Safety Alliance, and he said that the tunnels had been closed with ‘absolute safety’ in mind. He said: ‘The strong winds have turned the two Dartford Tunnels into weapons of vehicular destruction, and therefore they will remain closed under the winds return to a safe level. We are sorry to hear about Mr Voortechs’ experience, and he is more than welcome to appeal his speeding fine when it arrives. Provided that he can supply his own evidence of the wind speed in the tunnel, the appeals process is open to him.’