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Aerial pictures show calm before expected M25 chaos with ‘unprecedented’ weekend closure

Aerial footage of the M25 shows relative calm on Friday evening, ahead of an “unprecedented” weekend closure of a section of Britain’s busiest motorway.

Drivers are being warned of massive delays when the M25 shuts in both directions on a five-mile stretch between junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey this weekend.

The closure begins at 9pm on Friday, with the motorway set to reopen at 6am on Monday 18 March.

This section of the M25 normally carries between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles in each direction per hour from 10am until 9pm at weekends, so the disruption caused by the works is expected to be significant.

More than 200,000 vehicles are set to be affected, including many travelling in and out of London, and to and from Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Channel ports.

This will be the first scheduled daytime all-lanes shutdown on the M25 since it opened in 1986, with National Highways planning to demolish a bridge and install a new gantry.

Jonathan Wade, National Highways project lead, said drivers should “only use the M25 if their journey is absolutely necessary” during the closure.

Read: Everything you need to know about the M25 closure

From junction 10 to 11, a diversion route is in place with cars being told to go northbound A3 to Painshill Junction, on the A245 towards Woking, and then on the A320 to M25 junction 11.

In the other direction, cars are being told to travel on the A320 south towards Woking, on the A245 towards Byfleet and Painshill junction, and then southbound on the A3 to junction 10.

Aerial pictures show the M25 on Friday ahead of this weekend's closure.
Aerial pictures show the M25 on Friday ahead of this weekend's closure.

Drivers are being urged to ignore satnavs and only follow official diversion routes to prevent causing gridlock during an “unprecedented” closure.

Read more:
Map shows diversion route for closure between junction 10 and 11

A map showing the M25 closure and the diversion route
Image: A map showing the M25 closure and the diversion route

Mr Wade said the amount of disruption will partly depend on whether drivers stick to official diversions.

“How many people are going to take the initiative and try and use satnavs?”, he said.

“There’s 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.

“That will cause further congestion on some of the key junctions so please avoid doing that if at all possible.”

A view of traffic approaching junction 10 of the M25
Pic: PA
Image: A view of traffic approaching junction 10 of the M25. Pic: PA

National Highways senior project manager Daniel Kittredge said: “If people move away from diversion routes that we prescribe, it creates additional issues in different parts of the road network.

“The majority of the time that will be local roads, so that really impacts residents in those particular areas.

“That’s why we’re trying to encourage people to not follow the satnav.

“Stick on the prescribed diversion route. It’s going to be more suitable for your journey.”

The closure is one of five planned full closures between the two junctions. The other dates have not yet been confirmed.

Sky News Source