New map shows best M25 diversion route during full closure as drivers warned to stay clear

By Staff

National Highways has confirmed a full M25 diversion route ahead of an unprecedented weekend closure. The orbital motorway will close from 9pm on Friday (March 15) until 6am on Monday, between junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey.

Drivers are being warned to stick to official diversion routes and ignore their satnavs during an “unprecedented” closure of the M25 this weekend. The motorway will be closed while engineers demolish a bridge and install a new gantry.

The diversion route from junction 10 to 11 involves travelling northbound via the A3 to Painshill Junction, A245 to Woking and then A320 to M25 Junction 11. For travel from junction 11 to 10 take the A320 south to Woking, A245 towards Byfleet and Painshill Juinction, and A3 southbound to junction 10.

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National Highways has warned that drivers who follow the signed diversion routes on A-roads could see their journey times increase by an hour. It is worried that some people might try to find their own way around the closure using minor roads, which could cause even more traffic problems.

Jonathan Wade, the project lead at National Highways, has urged drivers to stick to the official diversions. He said: “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.”

Daniel Kittredge, senior project manager, from National Highways, said: “If people move away from diversion routes that we prescribe, it creates additional issues in different parts of the road network. The majority of the time that will be local roads, so that really impacts residents in those particular areas.”

“That’s why we’re trying to encourage people to not follow the satnav. Stick on the prescribed diversion route. It’s going to be more suitable for your journey.”

Drivers are being told to stay away from the affected part of the M25 if they can. It will be the first scheduled daytime all-lanes shutdown on the M25 since it opened in 1986.

National Highways needs to close it so they can knock down a bridge and put up a new sign. Modelling carried out while the plans were being developed estimated that drivers would face delays of up to five hours without mitigation measures such as urging drivers to stay away and creating diversion routes.

‘Please don’t travel if you can avoid it’

National Highways believes 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 Mr Wade said: “Because it’s so unprecedented, we’ve got nothing to benchmark it against.”

He also said: “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.”

The M25, which is one of the busiest roads in the UK, usually sees between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles heading in each direction every hour from 10am until 9pm during the weekend, particularly between junctions 9 and 11. Four more daytime closures of the motorway will take place up to September.

The project, due to be completed in summer 2025, will increase the number of lanes and make it easier to enter and exit the M25 at junction 10, which is one of the UK’s busiest and most dangerous motorway junctions.

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