M25 closing: Gatwick and Heathrow motorists warned ahead of first ever planned daytime closure - full dates

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“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."

A stretch of the M25 faces five full closures, causing disruption for motorists on London's orbital, including travellers using Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

The five miles between junction 11 at Chertsey and junction 12 with the A3 will first be closed from 9pm on Friday March 15 until 6am on Monday March 18.

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It will be the first time the M25 has faced a planned daytime closure since it opened in 1986, and the work in Surrey is part of a £317 million improvement project.

More than 200,000 vehicles are expected to be affected. Between junctions 9 and 11, the M25 normally carries between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles in each direction per hour from 10am until 9pm on weekends.

The government-owned National Highways said the action is necessary to enable a bridge to be demolished and a new gantry to be installed.

Four more closures will take place up to September. No dates or details have been released but the next is expected in April.

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The project will increase the number of lanes to make it easier to enter and exit the M25 at junction 10.

National Highways project lead Jonathan Wade said: “Drivers should only use the M25 if their journey is absolutely necessary. This is the first of five full closures of one of the busiest junctions on our road network.

“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. These improvements will bring long-term benefits to drivers who pass through this stretch of the M25, not to mention pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders who will also see positive changes in the area.”

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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.

“National Highways’ plea for people to avoid driving in the area applies not just to trips on the M25 but also to those on surrounding local roads onto which the M25 traffic will be diverted.

“The hope must be that drivers take great care, however frustrating the delays and disruption might be. The last thing we need is shunts or crashes, however minor, because the slightest mishap will compound the misery.”

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