M25 closure causes six miles of traffic as junction 10 and 11 shut all weekend – live

(AFP via Getty Images)

Drivers have been warned to “stay at home” as the unprecedented closure of the M25 is expected to cause a “carmageddon” of gridlock traffic this weekend.

Miles-long tailbacks had already begun on Saturday in the run-up to the five-mile closure between Junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey, which was closed in both directions at 9pm on Friday and will remain shut off until 6am on Monday while a bridge is demolished and a new gantry is installed.

It is the first planned daytime closure of the motorway – which encircles London – since it opened in 1986. National Highways said its modelling indicated vehicles would face delays of up to five hours without mitigation measures, such as urging drivers to stay away.

An 11.5-mile diversion route has been created to direct traffic along A roads  – and Inrix data suggested there were queues of around six miles along the route at Cobham on Saturday.

The M25 normally carries between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles in each direction every hour from 10am until 9pm at weekends between Junctions 9 and 11.


In pictures: Travel chaos as stretch of M25 closed until Monday

An information sign as traffic builds up in Cobham, Surrey, near to a closed section of the M25 (Yui Mok/PA)

(PA Wire)

(AFP via Getty Images)

A view of traffic approaching junction 10 of the M25 in Surrey during a site visit ahead of a planned closure of both carriageways

(Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Athena Stavrou16 March 2024 20:30


Business owners affected by M25 closure

Business owners in the areas along the diversion route have told of cuts they have made to their services in anticipation of traffic.

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”.

Mr Pollak said he had to refuse a request for Billy Tong to cater an event in Guildford and had to cancel its stall at Surbiton Farmers’ Market on Saturday, with staff not wanting to face expected traffic to get to jobs.

Athena Stavrou16 March 2024 19:30


Parts of M25 see two miles of congestion

Two miles of congestion was seen on the M25 in Surrey on Saturday morning after a section of it was closed.

A five-mile stretch of the motorway between junctions 10 and 11 was closed in both directions at 9pm on Friday and will remain inaccessible until 6am on Monday while a bridge is demolished and a new gantry installed.

Concerns have been raised that thousands of drivers will be stuck in gridlocked traffic over the weekend during the unprecedented closure, with one councillor calling it a “nightmare”.

National Highways South East (NHSE), in a post to X, formerly Twitter, said there were two miles of tailbacks on approach to the closure at junction 10 on Saturday morning.

(PA Wire)

Athena Stavrou16 March 2024 18:30


Addlestone pub not expecting hit to business over M25 closure

While some businesses have been bracing for the impact of the M25 closure, others were not expecting to be affected badly.

The Black Prince pub in Addlestone said it does not expect the diversion route to affect its business, with one of its staff members explaining customers are mostly local and in walking distance.

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 17:09


School cancels coding lessons due to M25 closure

Ammara Kanwal, director of Code Kids, cancelled a coding club session due to take place at Cobham Free School on Saturday over fears she would not be able to make it there on time.

“It was a bit of a disappointment,” she told the PA news agency.

“I am the one who cancelled, it was my business, so I am having to issue a refund for tomorrow.

“I mean, nobody wants to travel somewhere for two hours if it doesn’t take that long, it’s not fair.”

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 17:07


‘Multiple vehicle collision’ further down M25

Traffic is building up on a separate section of the M25 after a “multiple vehicle collision” between Junctions 5 and 6, some 35 miles away from the closure.

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 16:32


Watch: M25 drone footage shows workers demolishing bridge as motorway remains closed

Drone footage has captured workers demolishing a bridge and installing a new gantry on the closed section of the M25.

Miles-long tailbacks had already begun on Saturday in the run-up to the five-mile closure between Junctions 10 and 11.

Closed M25 drone footage captures workers demolishing bridge

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 16:11


Former Green Party co-leader suggests M25 shutdown shows

Sian Berry, former Green Party co-leader, notes that the closure of the M25 suggests people can reduce their use of cars if required to.

In an apparent riposte to those arguing against reducing the use of fossil fuel-emitting vehicles, the Brighton Pavilion candidate said: “For a few days, the busiest part of the M25 has been literally turned into a low traffic neighbourhood, and somehow the diversion route in Surrey is currently quieter than it normally is.

“Can driving behaviour … change?”

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 15:29


Nothing to benchmark impact of ‘unprecedented’ shutdown against, says project lead

National Highways said prior to the shutdown that only around an hour will be added to journeys because of the steps it has taken, which is based on a reduction in traffic of 50 per cent.

But project lead Jonathan Wade said: “Because it’s so unprecedented, we’ve got nothing to benchmark it against.”

He added: “There’s never been a closure of this nature. We really can’t be certain how many people will heed the messages which we’ve given.

“It’s very difficult to determine right now how effective all our traffic management will be. Please don’t travel if you can avoid it.”

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 14:57


Success of diversion will depend on drivers sticking to it, warns National Highways

National Highways project lead Jonathan Wade has warned that how well the area copes with the M25 closure will partly depend on whether drivers stick to official diversions.

He told the PA news agency: “How many people are going to take the initiative and try and use satnavs? 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.”

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 14:28

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