Live M25 closure at junction 10 set to bring traffic chaos to Surrey

'Unprecedented' full weekend M25 closure - here's what we know

An unprecedented full weekend closure of the M25 in Surrey starts on Friday night (March 15) at 9pm as part of the ongoing GBP317 million Wisley Interchange improvement scheme. Travel restrictions apply in both the clockwise and anticlockwise directions and will be lifted 57 hours later at 6am on Monday (March 18). Concerns have been raised that thousands of drivers will be stuck in gridlocked traffic this weekend as a result.

The five-mile stretch of the motorway between Junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey will be closed in both directions from 9pm on Friday until 6am on Monday while a bridge is demolished and a new gantry is installed. This is the first planned daytime closure of the motorway - which encircles London - since it opened in 1986. Motoring experts are warning that official estimates of congestion levels may be "optimistic", while local councillors in areas where motorway traffic will be diverted are anticipating "gridlock".

The M25 normally carries between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles in each direction every hour from 10am until 9pm at weekends between Junctions 9 and 11. This includes many airline passengers travelling to, from and between the UK's two busiest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick. National Highways said modelling carried out while it was developing its plans for this weekend indicated vehicles would face delays of up to five hours without mitigation measures, such as urging drivers to stay away.

The Government-owned company believes its awareness campaign will help reduce traffic levels by approximately 50%, meaning the length of time added to journeys will be limited to around an hour.