STRONG winds which hit the borough on Saturday evening caused one of the barrier gates at East Tilbury level crossing to blow off its hinges.

The crossing was closed by police shortly before 6pm, while engineers were called to fix the gates. Trains were also suspended through East Tilbury. Motorists were diverted down Love Lane, Station Road, Low Street and Muckingford Road.

The crossing reopened shortly after 8pm.

One resident told the Gazette on Twitter that the closure once again highlighted the need for a new crossing.

Mark Loudman said: “It was a 40 minute round trip to Linford to collect my daughter from East Tilbury.

“The back roads can’t cope. Not sure what would happen if there is a large emergency.”