M25 in Surrey to reopen on Monday with weekend traffic ‘not as bad as feared’

The M25 in Surrey is set to reopen on Monday after the first planned daytime closure of the motorway, with one councillor saying congestion was not as bad as expected.

The five-mile stretch of the motorway between junctions 10 and 11 was closed in both directions at 9pm on Friday and remains inaccessible until 5.30am.

Concerns had been raised that thousands of drivers would be stuck in gridlocked traffic over the weekend during the unprecedented closure on the south-west of the orbital route.

There had been some build-up, with congestion stretching two miles at one point, but traffic along the new route through the towns of Byfleet, West Byfleet, Woking and Ottershaw was not as bad as feared.

Amanda Boote, of Woking Borough Council, told the PA news agency: “It’s actually been as lot better than we expected, it’s not gridlocked in the way that we thought it would be.

“It was built up a bit, but no different to how it might normally be. Actually residents are quite happy, they’ve been sleeping well because it’s so quiet overnight.”

The National Highways South-East (NHSE) said on Sunday morning its work remains on schedule as it shared an image on X, formerly Twitter, of a new gantry being guided in place with a crane.

On Saturday night, the organisation said it had made “good progress” during the first 24 hours of work to demolish a bridge.

It was the first planned daytime closure of the M25 – which encircles London – since it opened in 1986.

Some locals visited the empty motorway to take selfies.

An 11.5-mile diversion route has been created to direct traffic along A roads.

The M25 normally carries between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles in each direction every hour from 10am until 9pm at weekends between junctions nine and 11.

This includes many airline passengers travelling to, from and between the UK’s two busiest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick.

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.