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M25 weekend closure no.2 to bring “long delays” in May

Further M25 closures are expected to take place throughout the year, with the next scheduled for 10-13 May

Diversion route for the M25 closure between Junctions 8 and 10

The M25 is set to shut once again next month as the second of five “unprecedented” closures of the UK’s busiest motorway, which are expected to take place throughout the rest of the year.

A seven-mile stretch between Junctions 9 (A243 Leatherhead) and 10 (Wisley) will be closed from the 10-13 May, putting this section of the ‘London Orbital Motorway’ out-of-bounds for the entire weekend. This makes it the second planned daytime closure of the M25 since it opened almost 40 years ago in 1986, the first being the one that occurred between March 15 and 18 this year, which closed the road between Junctions 10 and 11.

The next closure, which will commence at 21:00 on Friday 10 May, will facilitate the installation of 72 concrete beams that will eventually support a brand new bridge. During this time, a 19-mile diversion will be set up, with traffic redirected via the neighbouring A3 and A243.

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While this route would usually take drivers within the London ULEZ zone, such charges will be waived for this specific route over the weekend – the daily £12.50 fee will still apply elsewhere, though.

Nevertheless, National Highways is still predicting “long delays”, with Senior Project Manager, Jonathan Wade saying: “Our advice is please only travel if absolutely necessary and make sure you give yourself extra time if you do choose to use the M25.”

Where is the M25 closure?

The M25 closure will be taking place between Junctions 9 and 10 to facilitate improvements to the A3/M25 intersection at Junction 10. 

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The official diversion route for those heading clockwise between Junctions 9 and 10 is to leave the motorway at Junction 8 for the A217. After roughly three-and-a-half miles, the diversion will then take drivers onto A240 for Epsom. Then, at the Esso roundabout, the diversion will continue right on the A24 for Kingston, and then, after three miles, left onto the A3 for Portsmouth. Finally, after nine-and-a-half miles, drivers will be able to rejoin the M25 at Junction 10.

Those trying to travel anti clockwise from Junction 10 to Junction 9 will be doing the same thing in reverse. Simply leave the M25 at Junction 10 for the A3 heading towards London. After nine-and-a-half miles, turn right at the Hook Interchange onto the A240 for Epsom. Next, after three miles, head left on the Esso roundabout to continue along the A240 towards Reigate. After that, it’s another three-mile stint until you turn right onto the A217, once again towards Reigate. Finally, after three-and-a-half miles, you’ll be able to turn left to rejoin the M25 at Junction 8.

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As mentioned, such a closure will take drivers within London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone, although the charge has been waived along this route over the period of the closure. 

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It’s worth also noting that a separate route will be put in place for “over-height” vehicles – those measuring over 4.6 metres. This will have those travelling clockwise leave the motorway later at Junction 9 for Leatherhead. Drivers will then follow the A243, A309, A307, A245 and then finally the A3 before joining the M25 at Junction 10. Those travelling anticlockwise will do the same, but in reverse.

When is the next M25 closure?

The M25 will be closed during the daytime a total of five times throughout 2024 as part of a reworking of Junction 10, which happens to be the busiest section of Britain's busiest road, with over 300,000 vehicles passing through it every day on average.

The project, which is expected to be completed by Summer 2025 and will cost an eye-watering £317 million, involves a huge reworking of the J10 roundabout, including the installation of four new ‘free-flow’ lanes, as well as modifications and improvements of the surrounding roads and area.

National Highways has confirmed that no closures will take place in June – no doubt eliciting a unanimous sigh of relief for UK holidaymakers. However, it has said that another three closures will take place between July and the end of 2024.

Do not use sat-nav to avoid M25 traffic problems

Many motorists worried about traffic problems resulting from the M25 closures will be tempted to use their sat-nav systems to try and find a quicker route, but the official advice is not to do so. Jonathan Wade warned that a previous closure on the A3 had resulted in major traffic build-up in local villages as drivers tried to find their own diversion routes.

"We can't influence people in terms of taking the initiative themselves and just simply following what a sat-nav says, but please follow the signs." He said, going on to explain that there was, "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".

Motorists should avoid travel in the area if possible but for essential trips, the official diversion routes are clearly signposted from the M25 motorway at Junctions 9 and 10 where the closure is in force.

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Consumer reporter

Tom is Auto Express' Consumer reporter, meaning he spends his time investigating the stories that matter to all motorists - enthusiasts or otherwise. An ex-BBC journalist and Multimedia Journalism graduate, Tom previously wrote for partner sites Carbuyer and DrivingElectric and you may also spot him throwing away his dignity by filming videos for the Auto Express social media channels.

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