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M25 Reopens Eight Hours Ahead of Schedule, Easing Commuter Concerns

M25 Reopens Eight Hours Ahead of Schedule, Easing Commuter Concerns
PA Media

In an unprecedented turn of events, the M25 has reopened a full eight hours ahead of schedule, bringing relief to commuters and local residents alike.

The five-mile stretch between junctions 10 and 11, which had been closed for essential maintenance work, was initially slated to remain shut until 06:00 on Monday. However, to the delight of many, the road was cleared for use just after 22:00 on Sunday.

The early completion of the work is a testament to the efficiency and dedication of the teams involved.

National Highways South-East, the body responsible for the maintenance and operation of this section of the M25, had coordinated closely with contractors to ensure minimal disruption to the public.

Jonathan Wade, the project lead for National Highways, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome:

"We are delighted that we've been able to finish ahead of time. This has been a major undertaking, and the cooperation from the public has been instrumental in this success," he said.

The closure, which was the first planned daytime shutdown of the motorway since its opening in 1986, was part of a £317m upgrade aimed at making journeys safer and reducing pollution.

The works included the demolition of the Clearmount bridge and the installation of a new gantry.

Local authorities had braced for significant traffic disruptions, but the actual impact was less severe than anticipated.

Amanda Boote, a representative from Woking Borough Council, shared her observations:

"The community prepared for the worst, but thankfully, the traffic management plans worked better than expected. Residents have reported quieter nights and less disruption than feared," she commented.

The M25 is a vital artery for the UK's transport network, and its closure had raised concerns about potential gridlock. However, the public heeded the advice to avoid the area, resulting in a reduction of traffic levels by over 50% and an average increase in journey times of only around 30 minutes.

This successful early reopening marks the beginning of a series of planned closures, with four more expected before September.

The upgrades, due to be completed in the summer of 2025, will see an increase in the number of lanes at junction 10, one of the UK's busiest and most dangerous motorway junctions.

As the country looks forward to improved infrastructure and safer roads, this weekend's events have shown that with careful planning and public cooperation, even the most daunting of tasks can be accomplished with minimal fuss.