M25 chaos LIVE: Day of disruption around motorway as drivers face ‘carmageddon’

Long delays were seen on the M25[1] after it closed for the first time in almost 40 years. On Saturday, vehicles ground to a complete halt on a stretch of road leading up to junction 10 on the orbital road, with the jam steadily growing throughout the morning and past midday. Queues several hundred metres long remained leading up to diversion, with cars made to join a single file line.

Some tourists were even seen taking selfies in view of the eerily quiet road. A collision on a separate part of the motorway also led to 45-minute delays on the motorway yesterday evening. All lanes of the M25 between J5 and J6 were closed at around 4pm, before the wreckage was eventually cleared.

The M25 normally carries between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles in each direction every hour from 10am until 9pm at weekends between junctions nine and 11. This includes many airline passengers travelling to, from and between the UK's two busiest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick. Four more daytime closures of the M25 will take place up to September.

The project, due to be completed in summer 2025, will increase the number of lanes at junction 10, which is one of the UK's busiest and most dangerous motorway junctions. Have you been impacted by the closure? Email [email protected]

22:58Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

That's all for our coverage today

Come back here in the morning for more updates on the M25 closure.

19:42Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

Traffic delays last into the evening

National Highways have said delays continue on the approach to J10 and J11 on the M25 tonight due to the weekend closure.

Motorists have been subjected to long waits on the motorways and on surrounding roads due to the rare shutdown, which is set to last until Monday. Delays of 45 minutes are also being seen on the M25 between J5 and J6 after a multi-vehicle collision.

19:35Alahna Kindred

Traffic builds up along sections of M25

Traffic has slowly built up through out the day.

Traffic built up in Cobham, Surrey, near to a closed section of the M25 (PA)19:34Alahna Kindred

People look at empty part of M25

Cyclist goes over empty part of M25.

A section of the motorway is closed while a bridge is demolished and a new gantry is installed (PA)19:16Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

Closed M25 becomes novelty tourist attraction

People have been seen taking snaps and selfies today above a closed section the M25 in Surrey, which is usually busy with traffic.

Residents of West Byfleet took a selfie on the Parvis Road bridge over the motorway (PA)18:21Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

Lanes reopened after cars cleared but delays continue

The vehicles involved in the collision between J5 and J6 of the M25 near Sevenoaks have now been cleared onto lane one of the motorway. The three remaining lanes on this section of the motorway have now been reopened, though National Highways have advised drivers that delays will continue.

18:06Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

M25 remains held up clockwise as drivers told to expect delays

National Highways have confirmed traffic is stopped between Junction 5 and Junction 6 following an earlier accident.

Highways officers will open lanes on the motorway once it is "safe" to do, they added. Motorists intending to use the section of the M25 have been told to expect delays.

Following a multiple vehicle collision, the #M25 remains held clockwise between J5 (#Sevenoaks) and J6 (#M23). #TrafficOfficers are working to clear the vehicle and open the lanes as soon as it is safe.... Please keep following the feed for updates. pic.twitter.com/lG4dw6atqt[2][3][4][5][6]

-- National Highways: South-East (@HighwaysSEAST) March 16, 2024[7]16:54Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

Drivers urged to let ambulances through after multi-vehicle collision sees car overturn

Motorists on open sections of the M25 have been urged to allow ambulances to pass through after a multi-vehicle collision.

National Highways South East tweeted: "Following a multiple vehicle collision, the M25 is currently held clockwise between J5 and J6 to allow emergency services to work at the scene. "One of the vehicles has overturned and come to rest across the carriageway. Delays are building on the approach."

16:16Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

Why is part of the M25 closed?

The five-mile stretch has been closed as part of the junction 10 improvement scheme, which is expected to be completed in mid-2025.

A pedestrian footbridge is being demolished in the area over the weekend, which is due to be replaced by new overhead traffic display boards.

15:43Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

'Ongoing delays' in area near M25

In their latest update, Surrey Highways said roads in the area are "generally coping" this afternoon during the M25 shutdown. But they have warned of ongoing delays between between Byfleet and Painshill.

#Surrey's roads are generally coping with the impact of the #M25 closure between J10 at #Wisley and J11 at #Chertsey. But we're seeing ongoing delays between #Byfleet and #Painshill.

Thank you to the drivers who are avoiding the area, and please continue to check travel updates. pic.twitter.com/pcRPnLT1IS[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

-- Surrey Highways (@HighwaysSurrey) March 16, 2024[15]15:26Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

Warning over 'carnage' in villages

Heavy traffic has been seen in villages near the closed section of the M25 this afternoon - and it seems many residents had been expecting it. One local cafe worker in Byfleet, Surrey earlier told Yahoo News UK that she was anticipating scenes of "carnage" in the normally quiet area this weekend, and said she had cancelled any plans that involved driving as a result.


Drone footage shows queues at junction 10

Drone footage taken this afternoon shows a long, slowly moving line of traffic coming off the M25. The motorway and A road leading off it at junction 10 has been gunked up for hours, but the monster long queues that were warned of have yet to appear.

Those who do brave the M25 will find themselves trudging along at 5pm for several miles either side of the closed section between junctions 10 and 11.

14:22Milo Boyd

M25 construction workers to strike over pay

To add to the woes of M25 users, around 150 workers on the motorway are due to go on strike over pay. Unite, which represents the workers, said the walkout would cause "inconvenience and delays" on the major motorway encircling most of Greater London. Union members voted to strike after being offered a pay rise of 3.4 per cent by Balfour Beatty, an infrastructure company which has a 30-year contract to manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.

A spokesperson for Balfour Beatty said: "We are disappointed by Unite the Union's decision to proceed with strike action. We remain committed to working with them to reach an appropriate outcome, and would like to reassure travellers that suitable contingency plans are in place to minimise any potential disruption".

13:41Milo Boyd

Traffic clogs up villages off junctions 10 and 11

As expected, the villages around junctions 10 and 11 have been badly impacted by the closure of the motorway. Photos taken this afternoon show long lines of cars through the centre of Weybridge, to the south west of London.

Traffic on the M25 leading up to junction 10 has been reduced to one lane, which is currently crawling along and intermittently stopping altogether.

Weybridge has been hit by lengthy lines of traffic (AFP via Getty Images)13:29Milo Boyd

Rail closures add to general transport gloom

The knock-on impact of the motorway closure is likely to be felt on both the roads and rails. Many key rail links across Great Britain are closed today, with the lack of trains from London Marylebone to Aylesbury likely to make the snarl up on the M25 worse. To add insult to injury, there are rail closures on the following lines:

  • Exeter and Plymouth
  • Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury
  • Sheffield and Manchester
  • West Highland Line in Scotland

National Highways' traffic map still shows lengthy stretches of gridlock on the A3 coming off junction 10.

12:47Milo Boyd

Queues continue to back up

More live photos from the motorway show the queues continuing to build up.

Junction 10 continues to be the biggest snarl-up point, but the congestion is now building eastbound towards junction 11.

The closure runs until Monday morning (AFP via Getty Images)12:30KEY EVENT

Live photos show gridlocked cars on the M25

Traffic has begun to build up around junction 10. Live photos from the scene shows a long snake of cars winding its way back from the diverison point. If you're stuck in the queue - and you aren't behind the wheel - get in touch.

Email [email protected]

Traffic has begun to build up around junction 10 (AFP via Getty Images)12:10KEY EVENT

Traffic grinds to a halt off junction 10

The jams seem to be building around junction 10. Live feeds from National Highways show a considerable, mile long stretch of the A3 leading south off the M25 at junction 10 has come to a complete halt. Going eastbound from junction 10 along the motorway traffic has slowed right down, although not completely stopped.

The road is flowing more smoothly between junctions 11 and 12, although there is some congestion.

Work on the bridge is ongoing (PA)11:31Milo Boyd

Map shows recommended diversion for those who can't avoid M25

If you do find yourself having to use the M25 today, then the following advice has been given regarding diversions. 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.

National Highways has published a helpful map which shows the route.

A long section of road will be closed until Monday (Press Association Images)11:16Milo Boyd

Hospital urges patients to stay away unless 'necessary'

A particular concern that comes from the closures is the impact they may have on hospitals and other medical bodies. South East Coast Ambulance Service said on X, formerly Twitter: "It's likely to be a challenging weekend for our teams. "Please be aware of any emergency vehicles looking to progress through any likely heavy traffic."

St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey, warned patients to "only visit if necessary". Those stuck in the jams are urged to move aside for emergency service vehicles and be mindful of them.

10:59Milo Boyd

Historic M25 closures the first of several

The sad news for those who enjoy driving on the M25 is that this weekend's closure is the first of several. National Highways is following a timeline that will see five closures in total between spring and autumn 2024.

All will focus on improvement works between junctions 10 and 11. The next closure will take place from April 19 to April 22 to allow crews to install the Clearmount bridleway bridge. The same junctions will be closed again in both directions.

National Highways is yet to confirm closure dates beyond this.

10:44Milo Boyd

Sightseers gather to witness empty M25

Bridges close to the closed junctions have begun to fill full of sightseers, it has been reported. Dozens of interested road enthusiasts have converged close to Junction 10 and 11 to take a look at the empty M25 - a very rare sight. "It's absolutely astonishing," Simon Vassallo told the Independent. "When we came across the bridge this morning, we just had to stop, take a few pictures and take in the marvel that is an empty M25."

10:09Milo Boyd

Traffic situation could go on after Monday

One slight issue with the construction work is there is no plan B.

The closure is in place so the Clearmount bridge can be demolished to make way for motorway improvements, with engineers set to slowly chip away at the concrete and steel structure. Once they have started, they cannot stop until they're finished. If the work runs into some complications or simply goes on longer than expected, then the road closure may have to be extended.

Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.


Bridge demolition work well underway

Ariel shots show work is well underway on the M25 bridge. National Highways says the works "will reduce congestion, create a smoother flow of traffic and provide safer journeys for thousands every day." The scheme will see:

  • New and safer routes for cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders
  • An additional lane on the A3 in both directions from Ockham and Painshill junctions towards the M25
  • A larger roundabout with extra lanes to increase capacity
  • Free flow left turns at all four corners of the junction
  • Improvements to the A245 Seven Hills junction and Painshill roundabout
  • Safer access to Old Lane, Elm Lane, Heyswood campsite and San Domenico
  • Improvements to the local environment and wildlife
The construction work is well underway (Chris Gorman Big Ladder)09:47Milo Boyd

Drivers prepared to wait out the jams

For some people living close to the closure, the road shut-down is not going to stop them driving.

Megan Goddard lives between Cobham and West Byfleet and is planning to drive today. She told the Independent "I feel like the traffic is going to be even worse today, so it's not great, but yeah. People need to get to places.

I'm going to be travelling to work, and then I'm going to leave enough time to get home. "So I'm prepared to sit in traffic for a couple of hours if I need to."


Drone footage shows M25 eerily empty

Drone footage of the motorway this morning shows an unusual sight. The M25 is one of the world's largest orbital motorways and carries 15% of the UK's motorway traffic, or 200,000 vehicles a day.

For a five mile stretch this weekend, the usual thrum and screech of that traffic has disappeared so building work can be carried out. Arial footage of the road shows it completely devoid of any vehicles.


Delays building as congestion stretches two miles back

Jams are growing steadily in the areas around the M25 closure. An hour ago National Highways announced that there was a mile of congestion on the approach to the closure at Junction 10.

Shortly before 9.30am the agency said that had now reached two miles. "If you do have to travel, please leave a lot of extra time," National Highways wrote on Twitter. If you're stuck in the queues, we'd love to chat to you.

Email [email protected]

09:18Milo Boyd

Drivers urged not to use sat navs

National Highways is urging drivers not to use their sat navs to attempt to find quicker alternative routes on minor roads due to fears this could cause major congestion. Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, told PA: "We must hope National Highways has overstated its dire predictions of sat navs adding to the traffic chaos by taking drivers off the official diversion route, because the temptation to try to skip the queues will be intense, and the impact on actual journey times uncertain. "Whilst the modelling suggests around an hour might be added to people's travel time, that will feel optimistic to anyone used to the frustrations of driving round the M25 on days even without major construction works under way."

Four more daytime closures of the M25 will take place up to September. The project, due to be completed in summer 2025, will increase the number of lanes at junction 10, one of the UK's busiest and most dangerous motorway junctions.

08:57Milo Boyd

Traffic builds up on roads around M25

Traffic has begun to build up on the roads around the closed area. "Less than one mile of congestion on approach to the #M25 closures at J10 (#Wisley) clockwise and J11 (#Chertsey) anti-clockwise," National Highways South East announced shortly after 8am this morning.

However, given the scale of the closures, the disruption does not seem to be too bad. "If you're travelling on the diversion route, your average journey time is just under 25 minutes," the update concluded.

08:49Milo Boyd

Tom Cruise poised to fly Mission: Impossible 8 crew over M25 traffic jam

Tom Cruise[16] won't let a bit of traffic shut down Mission: Impossible 8. The production could be impacted by closures on London's M25 since the filming is near junctions 10 and 11.

A source told the Sun: "The M25 closure is a headache for most people but not for Tom. He is so keen to keep Mission: Impossible 8 in production that he's got helicopters on standby in London to fly his crew over to Longcross." To keep filming and production going, Tom is willing to chip in where needed.

They added: "Staff on the movie or stars who are needed for filming have been told if they can't get to Longcross because of the M25 closures they'll be flown in by chopper.

It's a feat that is just like a scene out of one of Tom's films."

Tom Cruise has readied the choppers


  1. ^ the M25 (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ #M25 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ #Sevenoaks (twitter.com)
  4. ^ #M23 (twitter.com)
  5. ^ #TrafficOfficers (twitter.com)
  6. ^ pic.twitter.com/lG4dw6atqt (t.co)
  7. ^ March 16, 2024 (twitter.com)
  8. ^ #Surrey (twitter.com)
  9. ^ #M25 (twitter.com)
  10. ^ #Wisley (twitter.com)
  11. ^ #Chertsey (twitter.com)
  12. ^ #Byfleet (twitter.com)
  13. ^ #Painshill (twitter.com)
  14. ^ pic.twitter.com/pcRPnLT1IS (t.co)
  15. ^ March 16, 2024 (twitter.com)
  16. ^ Tom Cruise (www.mirror.co.uk)