M25 closure: 'Good progress' made on bridge demolition and new gantry between Junctions 10 and 11

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National Highways have given an update into the weekend-long closure of the M25 in Surrey

Motorway workers have made "good progress” on demolishing an M25 bridge and installing a new gantry while the road is closed for the weekend.

A five-mile stretch of the motorway between junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey was closed in both directions at 9pm on Friday and will be out of action until 6am on Monday.

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Concerns had been raised that thousands of drivers would be stuck in gridlocked traffic over the weekend during the unprecedented closure on the south-west of the orbital route, with one councillor calling it a “nightmare”. Congestion stretched for two miles on Saturday morning, according to National Highways South-East (NHSE), and the estimated average journey time through the diversion route was 25 minutes.

Amanda Boote, of Woking Borough Council, told the PA news agency that traffic along the new route through the towns of Byfleet, West Byfleet, Woking and Ottershaw was not as bad as feared.

NHSE said on Saturday it had made good progress during the first night of work, as it shared an image on X, formerly Twitter. It is the first planned daytime closure of the M25 – which encircles London – since it opened in 1986. Some locals visited the empty motorway to take selfies. An 11.5-mile diversion route has been created to direct traffic along A roads.

South East Coast Ambulance Service, which covers Surrey, urged drivers to clear the way for ambulances ahead of a “challenging weekend” for crews.

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Business owners in areas along the diversion route have voiced fears in anticipation of the traffic disruption. Mark Pollak, owner of Billy Tong, which caters for events and sells biltong at markets, told PA he expects to see 50% of the firm’s turnover for the weekend go “down the drain”.

The M25 normally carries between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles in each direction every hour from 10am until 9pm at weekends between junctions nine and 11. This includes many airline passengers travelling to, from and between the UK’s two busiest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick.

Four more daytime closures of the M25 will take place up to September. The project, due to be completed in summer 2025, will increase the number of lanes at junction 10, which is one of the UK’s busiest and most dangerous motorway junctions.

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