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Drivers in Portsmouth are being warned the M275 northbound will be closed tomorrow morning, Wednesday, 2 March, while attempts are made to move the giant crane beached next to it.

The crane came loose of its moorings during Storm Eunice and Wednesday morning’s spring high tide is the best opportunity to return it to its home.

Trying to re-float and move a structure of this size can be unpredictable so the northbound motorway is being closed as a safety precaution in case it moves too close to the road.

A diversion for traffic going out of the city will be in place via Twyford Avenue and Northern Parade and drivers are asked to allow extra time for journeys and where possible avoid the west of the city.

The closure will come into place from 9.30am and the motorway is expected to reopen by 12 noon. The southbound lanes will remain open throughout so traffic coming into the city will be unaffected.

The Park & Ride will continue to run throughout the operation, drivers leaving the Park & Ride will be directed southbound towards Rudmore roundabout (M275 junction 2) while the northbound motorway is closed.

If the operation is unable to move the crane on this tide another attempt will be made on Wednesday evening and a similar road closure would be put in place between 9.30pm and midnight.