In a move set to impact thousands of commuters and travellers, National Highways has announced the full closure of a significant stretch of the M25 motorway. From 9pm on Friday 15 March to 6am on Monday 18 March 2024, both directions of the motorway between junctions 10 and 11 will be shut down, marking the first-ever full weekend closure of this vital artery.

Junctions 10 and 11 are pivotal points on the southwest quadrant of the M25, connecting crucial routes to Guildford, Portsmouth, Staines, Woking, and Weybridge. The closure is necessitated by National Highways' plans to demolish the Clearmount bridleway bridge and install a substantial gantry, a process deemed impossible without a complete shutdown of the motorway.

“Drivers should only use the M25 if their journey is absolutely necessary,” Jonathan Wade, National Highway Project Lead, comments. “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.”

 

With an estimated 4,000-6,000 vehicles passing through the closed section of the M25 every hour in each direction, heavy congestion is expected to spill over onto alternative routes and connecting motorways. National Highways is advising sports fans, tourists, and local residents alike to plan for extra journey time and to travel only if absolutely necessary.

The official diversion route for motorists navigating the closure involves taking the A3 north to Painshill Junction, then following the A245 towards Woking before rejoining the M25 at junction 11. For those travelling in the opposite direction, the route is reversed, leading drivers south on the A3 to junction 10.

“If people move away from diversion routes that we prescribe, it creates additional issues in different parts of the road network,” National Highways senior project manager, Daniel Kittredge, adds. “The majority of the time that will be local roads, so that really impacts residents in those particular areas. It’s always best to set off as early as possible and avoid travelling during peak hours like late morning and lunchtime. As the M25 is notoriously one of the busiest routes in the country any increase in drivers could lead to more breakdowns, and even more jams.”

The closure forms part of a broader scheme that will see the installation of a 'heathland bridge,' providing a green corridor for wildlife between Ockham and Wisley Commons. However, in the short term, commuters are advised to prepare for disruption and seek alternative routes where possible.

This closure is just the beginning of a series of planned disruptions, with National Highways scheduling five closures between now and September. Drivers are urged to brace for significant delays in surrounding areas and to reconsider travel plans over the affected weekends.