Motorway closures paused until after Queen's funeral as mourners travel to London

Motorway traffic Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Planned closures of motorways serving London have been paused until after the Queen’s funeral, it has been announced.

National Highways said the decision will reduce congestion as large numbers of people travel to and from the capital to pay their respects to Her Majesty.

Affected motorways include the M25, M11, M3, M4 and M23.

The Queen’s funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

All other closures on the motorway network will be postponed during the bank holiday weekend.

National Highways also said existing roadworks will be removed “where possible”, with cones and temporary signs withdrawn from 6am on Friday until the following Tuesday.

A planned closure of the southbound M6 between junctions 33 and 32 north of Preston, Lancashire, will be among those postponed.

John McNeill, head of service delivery in the east of England for National Highways, said: “We expect the roads to be busy with people looking to travel into the capital and to other royal residences over the weekend.

“Our traffic officer patrols will be out on the network to help anyone who might get into difficulty, but it’s important people remember to check their vehicle before setting off.

“The last thing anybody wants on the way to their destination is to have a vehicle breakdown.

The areas shown in purple around Buckingham Palace were made pedestrian-access only on Monday 12 September Credit: Met Police

“That’s why it’s really important that people spend a few minutes checking the condition of their tyres before setting off.”

London will experience "unprecedented travel demand" in the coming days as people visit the capital to pay their respects to, transport bosses warned on Monday.

Officials expect queues to see the Queen’s lying in state could last 12 hours and stretch for miles.

The new boss of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley, admitted that preparations for the Queen’s lying in state are a “massive challenge” for the force.

Roads around Buckingham Palace, Green Park and St James’s Park have been closed for vehicles "to ensure the safety" of mourners visiting the area on foot to pay their respects to the Queen.


Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...