UPDATE: Seven day strike at Cross Keys Bridge

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5pm TUESDAY: County council highways managers will step in to operate a swing bridge at Sutton Bridge when workers down tools for a seven day strike.

Highways chief Paul Coathup said today: “The big message is we don’t expect too much disruption.”

Mr Coathup says the council is confident the bridge will remain open for both road and river traffic.

• See story below and Thursday’s Spalding Guardian for more news on the strike.

• 4pm Monday: The first seven day strike by workers at Cross Keys Bridge – the Sutton Bridge gateway to Lincolnshire – will start in the early hours of Sunday.

Workers will down tools at one minute pass midnight but it is not yet clear whether the swing bridge will be left open for road vehicles on the A17 or for river navigation.

Public service union Unison, which represents two bridge keepers and a supervisor, is describing the industrial action as “the first set of strikes in a sustained period of rolling action”.

When the strike threat first loomed, the union said it was up to the county council whether it opted to keep the road or the river open. The county council at that time said it was confident the bridge would remain open to traffic and it could cope with river traffic too.

As many as 17,000 vehicles a day use the A17 and it’s likely this traffic will have to detour through Wisbech, in Cambridgeshire, if the road is closed.

• Keep watching www.spalding.today.co.uk for more updates on this story and make sure of your copy of Thursday’s Spalding Guardian.