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M25: Drivers warned weekend closure of route will lead to delays

by Staff

Image source, Clare Cowan

Image caption,

Work this weekend will necessitate the first of five full closures

  • Author, Shola Lee
  • Role, BBC News, South East

Drivers have been warned to expect “heavy congestion and delays” ahead of an unprecedented full weekend closure of a section of the M25 in Surrey.

Jonathan Wade, project lead at National Highways, said: “We have spent months planning for these closures and making sure there are diversion routes in place, but there will still be heavy congestion and delays.”

The closure is to enable the demolition of a bridge and the installation of a new gantry – part of the junction 10 improvement scheme due to be completed in mid-2025.

It is the first time there has been a scheduled daytime shutdown of all lanes on the M25 since it opened in 1986.

Mr Wade told BBC Radio Surrey the improvements would bring “long-term benefits”.

National Highways is advising those planning to travel to London and the surrounding areas to plan their journeys well in advance.

Travellers affected could include people going to Gatwick and Heathrow Airports and the Channel ports.

Image caption,

A five-mile stretch of the M25 between junctions 10 and 11 will be closed in both directions this weekend

‘Take the train’

Mr Wade said: “Drivers should only use the M25 if their journey is absolutely necessary.”

He said: “We really would encourage as many people as possible to avoid the area entirely, change their plans, go shopping on Thursday night rather than Saturday morning, or take the train.”

He added there was “probably a greater risk of congestion by people just doing their own thing and thinking they can perhaps beat the signs and find a shorter or quicker route”.

AA president Edmund King said drivers can expect the closure to have “a significant impact” on journeys.

The motoring organisation’s advise to drivers was to give the M25 in Surrey a “wide berth”.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “For drivers who’ve already had their patience tried by the queues at the junction 10 works, the phrase ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’ springs to mind.”

The closure will be the first of five between now and September as part of a £317m upgrade project.

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