M25 closures mapped as holidaymakers warned to expect delays this weekend

Holidaymakers travelling on the M25[1] to or from Gatwick and Heathrow airports[2] have been told to "plan ahead" as Britain's busiest motorway closes for the third time this year. The RAC is advising people to travel "earlier than usual" if their journeys are due to be affected by National Highways shutting the motorway[3] between Junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey from 9pm on Friday to 6am on Monday. This will be the third of five weekend closures of the M25 - which encircles London - as part of a GBP317m project to improve Junction 10.

Drivers will be redirected along a diversion route on A-roads. The disruption is due to coincide with football supporters travelling to watch the final of Euro 2024[4], music fans heading to London festivals, including Wireless and British Summer Time, and holidaymakers going to and from the country's two busiest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick. National Highways said this weekend's closure is needed to install a new bridge on the M25, telling motorists to "only travel if necessary".

A view of traffic approaching junction 10 of the M25 in Surrey during a site visit ahead of a planned closure of both carriageways from 9pm on Friday March 15 until 6am on Monday March 18.
pPicture date: Monday March 11, 2024. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA WireA view of traffic approaching junction 10 of the M25 in Surrey (Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

For those unable to avoid the motorway, it asks drivers to "leave extra time for their journey" and "expect delays".

There had been fears of significant congestion on diversion routes ahead of the previous two closures on the M25 - but hold-ups were largely avoided[5] with motorists largely following advice and staying away from affected areas. RAC breakdown spokeswoman Alice Simpson said there was therefore "no reason why this weekend can't go smoothly too", urging travellers to "plan their journeys well in advance and follow the official diversion routes." National Highways senior project manager Jonathan Wade requested people "ignore your satnavs", fearing they could direct some drivers onto minor roads after leaving the M25, creating gridlock in residential areas.

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For those looking to travel between Junctions 10 and 11, the diversion route will run through the A3 to Painshill Junction, then on the A245 towards Woking and finally on the A320 to M25's Junction 11.

If you plan on going in the opposite direction, from Junction 11 to 10, you will be asked to take the A320 towards Woking, then the A245 towards Byfleet and Painshill junction before heading onto the A3 to Junction 10. Chris Wood, AA Patrol of the Year, said: "With potential for an upturn in the weather forecast and many football fans hoping to visit friends to cheer on their national team, it's likely to be incredibly busy in and around London, particularly the M25 Junctions 10 to 11. "We advise drivers to plan their journey accordingly, avoiding the west side of the M25 if possible, but if not to expect delays and stick to the detour routes."

Ms Simpson added: "While anyone attending a festival in the city centre is likely to have an easier journey by train and Tube, there are of course trips, such as going to the airport, where it's far easier to travel by car, especially if you're loaded with luggage. "We're asking holidaymakers to ensure they plan ahead, which means checking their route before they set off, leaving even earlier than usual and, importantly, making sure their vehicles are road ready by checking the oil, coolant and tyres to give themselves the best chance of avoiding a breakdown." The project on the M25 is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2025 and should see an increase in the number of lanes at Junction 10, which is one of the UK's busiest and most dangerous motorway junctions.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles normally use the M25 between Junctions 9 and 11 in each direction every hour from 10am until 9pm at weekends.


  1. ^ M25 (inews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Gatwick and Heathrow airports (inews.co.uk)
  3. ^ motorway (inews.co.uk)
  4. ^ Euro 2024 (inews.co.uk)
  5. ^ hold-ups were largely avoided (inews.co.uk)