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M25 reopens ahead of schedule after bridge demolition

A five-mile stretch of the M25 in Surrey reopened eight hours ahead of schedule, after the first planned daytime closure of the motorway since it opened in 1986.

The section between junctions 10 and 11 closed in both directions at 9pm on Friday and was due to open at around 6am on Monday.

However, following works to demolish a bridge and install a huge gantry, it reopened at just after 10pm on Sunday.

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

The National Highways South-East (NHSE) said on X: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone for your patience and following our travel advice.”

The closure had prompted concerns 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.

Drivers were told to avoid travelling over the weekend, and the advice meant traffic levels were reduced by more than 50% compared with normal and around half an hour was added to journey times.

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.”

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.

With agencies

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