Latest live M25 traffic news

Live M25 traffic reports, plus the latest news on M25 accidents, delays and congestion

M25 map

The M25 is quite possibly the most notorious motorway in the UK. With 117 miles of potential for congestion, roadworks, lane closures, delays, accidents, and incidents, London’s orbital motorway can prove utterly chaotic and unpredictable, especially during the rush hour, so it pays to plan ahead as much as you can with traffic updates. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

We’re not just making this up - a study conducted in 2017 recorded the average speed of traffic on the M25 at just 25mph - making it one of the slowest motorways to negotiate in the UK. A study in 2020 also estimated that over 170,000 vehicles use the western section of the M25 each day.

With these kinds of numbers, it probably comes as little surprise that journeys around London on the M25 are all too frequently frustrated by hold-ups and delays. The experience is no doubt worse for commuters, who have to endure the reports of M25 closures and accidents almost daily as they check their phone or listen to the radio during breakfast.

As a result of its popularity, the M25 has been consistently widened since it was completed as a three-lane orbital road in the late 1980s, but even the widest six-lane-per-carriageway sections can struggle to cope with the volume of traffic at times.

Scroll down to view all the latest traffic information on the M25 via our tailored Twitter feed, which pulls live information and updates from the Highways Agency, police forces and other traffic alert feeds. We’ve also got a a useful list of the motorway’s 31 junctions and some interesting M25 key traffic facts...

Live M25 Traffic updates 

M25 history

The idea of a London orbital road can be traced back to the 1930s but it wasn’t until the 1960s that moves were made to actually construct the road that would become the M25. The M25 was born out of the London Ringways plan which marked out four ring roads around the capital. 

Ringways 3 and 4 were built in the early 1970s. The first section was started in 1973 between South Mimms and Potters Bar and this would go on to become M25 junctions 23 to 24 as the roads were integrated into the modern M25.

The M25 first opened to traffic in 1986 as a complete ring road for London but traffic levels exceeded those for which it was designed almost immediately and in 1990 the Secretary of State for Transport announced plans to widen the whole road to four lanes. Traffic continued to increase and road works to widen the M25 have been an almost constant companion for motorists using the road ever since.

map of M25 junctions

M25 junctions


Clockwise exits


Anti-clockwise exits

A282 – Dartford Crossing
0 Dartford Crossing A282, Queen Elizabeth Bridge River Dartford Crossing A282, Dartford Toll Tunnel
3.5 Erith A206 J1A Erith A206, Swanscombe (A226)
4.7 Dartford A225 J1B Exit via J2 – Dartford (A225)
M25 motorway – London Orbital
5.5 London (SE & C), Bexleyheath A2 (W), Canterbury (M2) A2 J2 London (SE & C), Bexleyheath A2, Canterbury (M2), Dartford (A225) Ebbsfleet International, Bluewater
8.7 London (SE & C) A20, Maidstone, Channel Tunnel, Folkestone M20, Swanley B2173 J3 Maidstone, Channel Tunnel M20, London (SE & C), Lewisham A20
12.2 Bromley A21, Orpington A224 J4 Bromley, London (SE & C) A21, Orpington (A224), Hayes
16.316.4 Sevenoaks, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Hastings A21 J5 Maidstone, Channel Tunnel, Dover M26 (M20), Sevenoaks, Hastings A21
21 Clacket Lane services Services Clacket Lane services
25.8 East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Caterham, Godstone A22, Redhill, Westerham (A25) J6 East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Caterham, Godstone A22, Redhill, Westerham (A25)
28.6 Gatwick Airport, Crawley, Brighton, Croydon M23 J7 Gatwick Airport, Crawley, Brighton, M23(S), Croydon M23(N)
31.9 London (S & SW), Reigate, Sutton A217, Kingston (A240) J8 London (S & SW), Reigate, Sutton A217, Kingston (A240)
38.539.5 Leatherhead A243, Dorking, (A24) J9 Leatherhead A243, Dorking (A24)
42.643.2 Cobham services Services Cobham services
45 London (SW & C), Guildford, Portsmouth A3 J10 London (SW & C), Guildford, Kingston A3
49.8 Chertsey A317, Woking A320 J11 Woking A320, Chertsey A317
52.1 Basingstoke, Southampton, Richmond M3 J12 Basingstoke, Southampton, Richmond M3
55.2 London (W & C), Hounslow, Staines A30 J13 London (W & C), Hounslow, Staines A30
57 Heathrow Airport (Terminals 4, 5 and Cargo) A3113 J14 Heathrow Airport (Terminals 4, 5 and Cargo) A3113
59 The West, Slough, Reading, London (W & C), Heathrow Airport(Terminals 1, 2 and 3) M4 European route E30 J15 The West, Slough, Reading M4(W), London (W & C), Heathrow Airport (Terminals 1, 2 & 3) M4(E)
63.8 The North, Birmingham, Oxford, Uxbridge, London (W & C) M40 J16 Birmingham, Oxford M40(W), Uxbridge, London (W & C) M40(E)
68.7 Rickmansworth, Maple Cross (A412) J17 Rickmansworth, Maple Cross A412
69.9 Chorleywood, Amersham A404 J18 Chorleywood, Amersham A404
71.5 Watford A41 J19 Exit via J20 – Watford A41
73.5 Hemel Hempstead, Aylesbury A41 J20 Hemel Hempstead, Aylesbury, Watford A41
76.3 The North, Luton & Luton Airport M1 J21 The North, Luton & Luton Airport M1
76.9 Watford A405Harrow (M1 South) European route E13 J21A St Albans A405, London (NW & C) (M1 (South))
80.6 London Colney A1081 J22 St Albans A1081
83.3 Hatfield A1(M), London (NW & C) A1, Barnet A1081South Mimms services J23 Hatfield A1(M), London (NW & C) A1, Barnet A1081, South Mimms services
85.9 Potters Bar A111 J24 Potters Bar A111
91.4 Enfield Town, Hertford A10 J25 Enfield, Hertford, London (N & C) A10
94.9 Waltham Abbey, Loughton A121 J26 Waltham Abbey, Loughton A121
99.2 London (NE & C), Stansted Airport, Harlow, Cambridge M11 J27 London (NE & C) M11(N), Stansted Airport, Harlow, Cambridge M11(S)
107.1 Chelmsford, Witham, Colchester A12, Brentwood A1023 European route E30 J28 Chelmsford, Romford A12, Brentwood A1023
109.9 Romford, Basildon, Southend A127 J29 Basildon, Southend, Romford A127
115.2 Tilbury, Thurrock, Lakeside A13(E), London (E & C) A13(W), Thurrock services J30 London (E & C), Barking, Tilbury, Basildon, Dagenham, Rainham A13
A282 Road – Dartford Crossing
115.9 Exit via J30 – Purfleet (A1090), South Ockendon, Thurrock servicesA1306 J31 Thurrock (Lakeside), Thurrock services A1306, Purfleet(A1090), West Thurrock (A126)
117 Dartford Crossing A282, Queen Elizabeth Bridge River Dartford Crossing A282, Dartford Toll Tunnel

M25 key traffic facts

  • The M25 is 117 miles long.
  • The M25 is the second longest ring road in Europe after the Berliner Ring in Germany (122 miles).
  • At its closest point, at Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, the M25 is 12.5 miles from Charing Cross in central London.
  • At its furthest point, at Byfleet in Surrey, the M25 is 19.5 miles away from Charing Cross.
  • There are 31 junctions on the M25, if you include Junctions 1A, 1B and 31 which are technically on the A282 at the Dartford Crossing.
  • The M25 has sections in Kent (junctions 1A to 5), Surrey (junctions 6 to 14), Buckinghamshire (junctions 15 to 16), Hertfordshire (junctions 17 to 25) and Essex (junctions 26 to 31). 
  • The M25’s busiest section is between junctions 14 and 15 near Heathrow Airport, handling an average of over 200,000 vehicles a day.
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