M25 news – live: Motorway reopens early ahead of Monday rush hour traffic

pHas the M25 reopened? Latest news/p

Has the M25 reopened? Latest news

(Getty Images)

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Historic work on the M25 in Surrey[1] has finished hours ahead of schedule, allowing the road to reopen ahead of Monday rush hour traffic. A five-mile stretch between junctions 10 and 11 was shut in both directions on 9pm on Friday and wasn't expected to reopen until 6am on Monday.[2]

However at 10:30pm on Sunday, National Highways revealed that the road was now open[3] in both directions following the successful demolition of the Clearmount bridge. "We'd like to say a massive 'thank you' to everyone for your patience during this weekend's closure of the M25 J10-11," it wrote on X. "The closure was to demolish a bridge and install a huge gantry.

The road's now open again, eight hours ahead of schedule. Thank you again for bearing with us." It comes after drivers[4] were warned to stay at home as the unprecedented closure of the motorway[5] was expected to cause a "carmageddon" of gridlock traffic over the weekend[6].

It was the first planned daytime closure of the motorway - which encircles London - since it opened in 1986.

Show latest update 1710606760

'Multiple vehicle collision' further down M25

Traffic is building up on a separate section of the M25 after a "multiple vehicle collision" between Junctions 5 and 6, some 35 miles away from the closure. Andy Gregory16 March 2024 16:32


Watch: M25 drone footage shows workers demolishing bridge as motorway remains closed

Drone footage has captured workers demolishing a bridge and installing a new gantry on the closed section of the M25. Miles-long tailbacks had already begun on Saturday in the run-up to the five-mile closure between Junctions 10 and 11.

Closed M25 drone footage captures workers demolishing bridge

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 16:11


Former Green Party co-leader suggests M25 shutdown shows

Sian Berry, former Green Party co-leader, notes that the closure of the M25 suggests people can reduce their use of cars if required to.

In an apparent riposte to those arguing against reducing the use of fossil fuel-emitting vehicles, the Brighton Pavilion candidate said: "For a few days, the busiest part of the M25 has been literally turned into a low traffic neighbourhood, and somehow the diversion route in Surrey is currently quieter than it normally is. "Can driving behaviour ... change?" Andy Gregory16 March 2024 15:29


Nothing to benchmark impact of 'unprecedented' shutdown against, says project lead

National Highways said prior to the shutdown that only around an hour will be added to journeys because of the steps it has taken, which is based on a reduction in traffic of 50 per cent.

But project lead Jonathan Wade said: "Because it's so unprecedented, we've got nothing to benchmark it against." He added: "There's never been a closure of this nature. We really can't be certain how many people will heed the messages which we've given.

"It's very difficult to determine right now how effective all our traffic management will be. Please don't travel if you can avoid it." Andy Gregory16 March 2024 14:57


Success of diversion will depend on drivers sticking to it, warns National Highways

National Highways project lead Jonathan Wade has warned that how well the area copes with the M25 closure will partly depend on whether drivers stick to official diversions.

He told the PA news agency: "How many people are going to take the initiative and try and use satnavs? There's 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. "That will cause further congestion on some of the key junctions so please avoid doing that if at all possible."

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 14:28


Weekend shutdown is one of five upcoming daytime M25 closures

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. Andy Gregory16 March 2024 14:01


Ambulance service warns of 'challenging weekend' as businesses brace for turnovers to collapse

South East Coast Ambulance Service has urged drivers to clear the way for ambulances ahead of a "challenging weekend" for crews.

And business owners in the areas along the diversion route have told of cuts they have made to their services in anticipation of traffic. Mark Pollak, owner of Billy Tong, which caters for events and sells biltong at markets, told the PA news agency that he expects to see 50 per cent of the firm's turnover for the weekend go "down the drain". Mr Pollak said he had to refuse a request for Billy Tong to cater an event in Guildford and had to cancel its stall at Surbiton Farmers' Market on Saturday, with staff not wanting to face expected traffic to get to jobs.

PA16 March 2024 13:37


What other travel issues could there be this weekend?

Traffic on the rest of the M25 is likely to be much heavier; for example motorists from Birmingham or Oxford taking the M40 to London may decide to head for Gatwick via the northern and eastern sections of the M25, increasing congestion. Many key rail links across Great Britain are closed - with the absence of trains from London Marylebone to Aylesbury possibly exacerbating problems caused by the M25 closure. Additional rail closures:

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

Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent16 March 2024 13:07


Simon Calder gives update as closure expected to cause traffic chaos

M25: Simon Calder gives update as closure expected to cause traffic chaos

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 12:48


Six-mile tailbacks on relief roads

Queues on relief roads in Cobham, where M25 traffic are being diverted due to the closures, were earlier stretching around six miles, according to data from Inrix, the Evening Standard reports.

The closed stretch of the M25 is only five miles long, while the diversion route stretches 11.5 miles.

Andy Gregory16 March 2024 12:36



  1. ^ Historic work on the M25 in Surrey (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ was shut in both directions on 9pm on Friday and wasn't expected to reopen until 6am on Monday. (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ National Highways revealed that the road was now open (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ drivers (www.independent.co.uk)
  5. ^ motorway (www.independent.co.uk)
  6. ^ "carmageddon" of gridlock traffic over the weekend (www.independent.co.uk)
  7. ^ 1710606760 (www.independent.co.uk)
  8. ^ 1710605493 (www.independent.co.uk)
  9. ^ 1710602955 (www.independent.co.uk)
  10. ^ 1710601058 (www.independent.co.uk)
  11. ^ 1710599318 (www.independent.co.uk)
  12. ^ 1710597698 (www.independent.co.uk)
  13. ^ 1710596253 (www.independent.co.uk)
  14. ^ 1710594458 (www.independent.co.uk)
  15. ^ 1710593318 (www.independent.co.uk)
  16. ^ 1710592611 (www.independent.co.uk)