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Havengore Bridge

Havengore Bridge Status: Open to marine traffic in accordance with MOD byelaws.

Opened in 1988, Havengore Bridge spans Havengore Creek. The bridge provides the only vehicle crossing point to Foulness Island.

Havengore Bridge

Havengore Creek is a public right of navigation which provides access to the North Sea (Thames Estuary) from the River Roach and Crouch. QinetiQ is responsible for operating and maintaining the bridge thereby ensuring that vehicular access to Foulness Island and rights of marine navigation are preserved.

*The bridge is staffed for two hours either side of high water (based on Southend-on-Sea tide times), during daylight hours (based on sunrise to sunset times for Southend-on-Sea), every day of the year (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day). During these periods, the bridge can be opened for marine traffic when the Range is not active.

*Sometimes, the bridge is non-operational due to planned maintenance or fault. If there are any changes to operating status of the bridge, marine stakeholders including the HM Coastguard and Crouch Harbour Authority are informed.

Passage through Havengore Creek is dictated by operational activity taking place on the Range. Closure of the waterway is in accordance with the Shoeburyness Artillery Ranges Byelaws 1936 and the Shoeburyness and District Military Lands Byelaws 1935 (under the Military Lands Acts 1892 to 1903).

Under the byelaws the inner and outer sea areas which comprise the Range Sea Danger Area are closed when the Range is active. This is indicated by a Red Flag flying from Havengore Bridge and means that vessels cannot enter or leave Havengore Creek. In addition, vessels cannot enter or leave Havengore Creek at night. 

Underneath the bridge there are ‘shackles’ – floating pontoons between the bridge pillars. There is also a bar fixed below the raising section of the bridge. Both the shackles and the bar are to prevent small craft going under the bridge when the Range is active and inadvertently entering a controlled danger area.

Further information about navigating through Havengore Creek can be found on the Crouch Harbour Authority website and a below.

Havengore Bridge – a guide for marine vessels

If you’re considering sailing in the area of Maplin/Foulness Sands (which surround the live firing Range at MOD Shoeburyness), and intend to use Havengore Creek to reach the inner waterways of the River Roach/Crouch (or reverse journey), we strongly advise you to familiarise yourself with the restrictions on passing through Havengore Bridge. The following information will help you plan a successful journey:

  1. Havengore Bridge is only passable when the MOD Shoeburyness Range is NOT ACTIVE.
  2. The MOD Shoeburyness Range is normally active Monday to Thursday from 06:00 to 16:30 and Friday 06:00 to 12:30. The “ACTIVE” status of the Range is signalled by the flying of a RED FLAG on the bridge and at intervals around the perimeter of the site. Please note, Range operational hours are not fixed and MOD/QQ reserve the right to operate earlier/later and at weekends. Unusual hours/days of working and unplanned closures are notified on our website.
  3. The Bridgekeeper is on duty for 2 hours either side of high tide (based on Southend-on-Sea tide times), during daylight hours (based on sunrise and sunset times for Southend-on-Sea), every day except the Public Holidays listed below. The bridgekeeper can be contacted for basic bridge status advice (see No.5 for contact details).
  4. The bridge does not operate on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
  5. If you wish to plan your journey in advance and would like advice from the Range about using the bridge on a particular day, please contact our Careline on 0800 0560108 or email us at QQSHBEnquiries@qinetiq.com. Please be aware that information supplied in advance is subject to change.
  6. If you wish to receive ‘on the day’ bridge status advice, you can contact the Bridgekeeper on 01702 383436 or VHF Channel 72 (see No.3).
  7. QinetiQ (including our Bridgekeepers) is not able to provide navigational advice. It is incumbent on the skipper to ensure that they are familiar with the route, the restrictions and the suitability of the route for their vessel.

If you would like to receive marine email alerts, please email us at QQSHBEnquiries@qinetiq.com.

You can also follow us on Twitter @SHB_Alerts.