M25 closure: Drivers warned of 'even worse' delays as motorway detour set to take 'twice as long'

M25 closure: Drivers warned of 'even worse' delays as motorway detour set to take 'twice as long'

WATCHl Surrey's Commissioner urges calm as M25 fully closes

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 18/04/2024

- 11:45

The M25 will be closed between May 10 and May 13 for repairs

Experts are warning drivers to ensure they plan ahead before the major motorway is closed for only the second time ever next month.

The M25, which encircles London, will be shut for a weekend in May as National Highways works to install a new bridge.

The motorway will be closed between J9 and J10 from 9pm on Friday, May 10, until 6am on Monday, May 13, with drivers warned that the closure will create significant delays and congestion.

In a bid to minimise disruptions, National Highways hoped to give drivers as much notice as possible and has already mapped out a diversion route.

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M25 diversion route

Work on the bridge will begin in May with extensive roadworks


For drivers heading from Gatwick towards Heathrow, they are advised to leave the M25 at J8, A217 (Reigate) and follow the A217 towards Sutton.

After three and a half miles, they should turn left onto the A240 Epsom, Kingston and after a further three miles at the Esso roundabout, turn right onto the A24 (A240) Kingston.

From there they should continue for three miles and turn left onto the A3 Portsmouth, Guildford and continue for nine and a half miles to the M25 and re-join the motorway at J10.

Drivers who are looking to travel across the affected weekend can find a full list of planned diversion routes on the National Highways website.

According to research, over 270,000 vehicles use the M25 between J9 and J10 daily with the motorway accounting for 15 percent of all UK traffic.

Since the M25 opened in 1975, there has been continual work to upgrade the motorway, adding extra lanes over large sections, and introducing new traffic management technology.

Louise Thomas, motoring expert from Confused.com, has warned that disruption to drivers could be "even worse" than the first M25 closure earlier this year.

She said: “That’s as the organised detour will be nearly twice as long as the route planned for the previous closure.

"Not only will this impact those driving in and out of London, but also those heading to Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

“That’s why all drivers in the area are being encouraged to not travel unless completely necessary during this time, especially if it isn’t essential. But for those who do need to travel, prepping ahead of your journey could be hugely beneficial."

She suggested that taking an alternative route may be the best option, although every diversion route will likely have long delays.

Alternative travel options may also be a possibility for drivers, although train services and other methods of transport will likely be busier given the higher volume of people.


M25 traffic

The M25 is likely to close a further three times before the end of the year


The carriageway between J9 and J11 on the M25 carries between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles per hour in each direction between 10am and 9pm on a weekend.

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