Drivers accused of 'ignoring' diversion route around M25 closure

Highways bosses have encouraged drivers to keep following the official diversion route around the M25 after accusing some of ignoring the signs.

Engineers are installing a new gantry and gyratory bridge between junctions 9 and 10 of Britain’s most used motorway this weekend. This has led to the closure of the Surrey section from 9pm on Friday to 6am on Monday.

The highways authority said that good progress had been made on Saturday, with a number of beams that will form the new bridge having been lifted into place.

Drivers have been asked to follow a 19 mile diversion route through parts of Surrey and Greater London which is intended to avoid towns and villages becoming congested.

Simon Elliott, National Highways senior project manager, said that while most drivers are playing ball, some are looking to take shortcuts which is ruining it for everyone.

"It is important that drivers follow the diversion route in place,” he said.

“It is the most effective way for people travelling clockwise along the M25 to reach their destination and will help keep traffic moving as well as possible during this weekend’s closure.”

He identified a problem in regular cars following the route of freight drivers in staying on the M25 past junction 8 to junction 9 before rejoining the M25 at junction 10.

Mr Elliott continued: "Coming off at junction 9 means non-freight drivers will end up travelling behind or alongside HGVs which is something we are actively trying to avoid and is likely to have a negative impact on travel times, congestion and the communities they pass through.”

The highways authority said anyone who ignores official diversion signs in an attempt to find shorter alternative routes will be liable for the £12.50 daily Ulez fee if their vehicle does not meet minimum emissions standards.

Failure to pay the charge when required can result in a £180 fine, reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days.