1. ITV Report

M25 major improvement scheme starts

M25 in Surrey. Photo: PA

The Highways Agency is starting initial work on an upgrade to the M25 between Kent and Surrey.

This will add much needed extra capacity to the M25 between junctions 5 and 7 by delivering a road improvement project that will make the hard shoulder available to drivers as an extra lane.

Main construction work is expected to start next spring, with the mobilisation work being carried out now, starting Monday 17th September. It will lay the groundwork for its successful delivery.

The preparatory work is vital if we are to deliver this important road upgrade as soon as possible and realise its benefits for the economy.

As well as installing important equipment that will be used during the scheme, we are preparing key parts of the road infrastructure for the upgrade, including checking and refurbishing more than 1,000 drainage gulleys and chambers under the hard shoulder to minimise the risk of unplanned disruption once the roadworks get underway.

– Highways Agency project manager John Martin

The work, which will be carried out overnight, will include clearing some vegetation from the hard shoulder and work to relocate protected wildlife from the road verge.

The hard shoulder and sections of the verge will be strengthened, drainage will be upgraded and the breakdown recovery stations and cameras that will be used during the roadworks will be prepared.

The work will be completed using overnight lane and slip road closures, with all restrictions removed outside working hours.

It will be followed by an upgrade to the central reservation barrier, which will begin in November, using 24-hour narrow lanes and a reduced 50 mph speed limit.

Public information exhibitions for the multi-million pound upgrade were held in July and the road upgrade, known as a ‘managed motorway’ will build on successful hard shoulder running schemes in the Midlands, which have helped to reduce congestion and improve safety on motorways around Birmingham.