Holidaymakers are braced for more chaos following an announcement that the M25 between Heathrow and Gatwick will close again next month for the third time this year. 

Just in time for the start of summer holidays, families in the South East of England face gridlock on the roads as National Highways announce Junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey from 9pm on Friday July 12 to 6am on Monday July 15.

This means holidaymakers living nearby hoping to getaway for some summer sunshine from either of London's major airports will face diversions and potentially lengthy delays on their journey as vehicles are diverted onto A-roads. 

These will be the third of five weekend closures of the motorway - which encircles London - as part of a £317 million project to improve Junction 10.

Shutting the motorway will enable the construction of a new bridge near the junction.

There were fears of severe congestion on diversion routes ahead of the first two closures in March and May, but many drivers followed advice to avoid the area, meaning long hold-ups were avoided.

National Highways said in a statement: 'We're grateful to all drivers who avoided previous closures and completed their journeys in other ways. We urge you to do the same again.

'If you do travel, expect delays and please leave a lot of extra time for your journey.'

National Highways senior project manager Jonathan Wade said: 'The previous two closures have gone well, with significant progress being made during both.

'We would urge all drivers to follow the official diversion route as this is the best chance of reaching your destination in good time.

'Please ignore your satnavs and follow our diversion route instead.'

National Highways is concerned that satnavs could direct some drivers on to minor roads after leaving the M25, creating gridlock in residential areas.

The M25 between Junctions 9 and 10 also closed earlier this year in May. Drivers instead faced a 19-mile diversion.

Warnings were issued to vehicles that if they stray off the designated route diversion they could face a £180 ULEZ fine.  

The March closure was the first planned daytime shutdown of the M25 since it opened in 1986.

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.

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.

The final two weekend closures as part of the project will take place later this year.

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2024-06-17T19:38:30Z dg43tfdfdgfd