M25 drivers face ‘worst traffic jam ever’ as 57-hour closure sparks chaos on UK’s busiest motorway

A road expert has warned that the M25's 57-hour closure this weekend could lead to the "worst traffic jam ever". National Highways has decided to close the London ring road M25 for an unprecedented amount of time. Drivers are being told to avoid the five-mile stretch of the motorway in Surrey between junctions 10 and 11, as it will be closed in both directions from 9pm on Friday until 6am on Monday.

This is the first time all lanes on the motorway have been scheduled for closure since it opened in 1986, with the main goal being to widen it by adding more lanes. However, a former leader of the UK government's road planning team has heavily criticised the plan, saying it will not only cause traffic chaos but also be a pointless task. Michael Dnes, who refers to himself as a "DfT roads bod", took to social media platform X - formerly known as Twitter[2] - to express his concerns in a lengthy thread.

He said the country "may be about to have its worst traffic jam ever." He said: "The road isn't just congested. It's stuffed.

Most roads have two peaks of traffic morning and evening.", reports the Express[3]. "The SWQ [the section of the M25 that's closing] doesn't. The traffic starts at about 6am and goes constantly until about 6pm. "And because it's so jam-packed, when things go wrong there's nowhere to fix it.

Highway planners typically say 'add another lane'. Not here," he adds. Mr Dnes then stressed that "The worst thing you could do to this part of the M25 is add another lane."

He said increasing the road width becomes more appealing to drivers and surpasses other routes even further - which would not be helpful if the M25 is closed, as there isn't a reasonable alternative.

Meanwhile, the Highways Agency suggests drivers should opt for home-based activities like "decorate the bathroom" or "play in the garden".

While speaking on The Independent's daily travel podcast, Jonathan Wade, the UK government-owned company's project lead, warned "avoid the area totally if you can." National Highways anticipates journey times may increase by an hour due to the measures it's enforcing.


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  2. ^ Twitter (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ the Express (www.express.co.uk)