A one foot deep pothole on Friday caused a major travel chaos on Britain’s busiest motorway, the M25, with tailbacks lasting into the evening rush hour. The pothole developed in heavy rain at Junction 9 at Leatherhead in Surrey Friday at around five in the morning after concrete repairs being carried out overnight at that spot failed to set.
One motorway lane wide, 16ft long and 11.8ins deep, the pothole led to three lanes of the M25 being closed anti-clockwise between junction 10 south west of Cobham and Junction 9 at Leatherhead. Before the closure, car tyres were shredded by the road subsidence while many passengers trying to catch their flights at Gatwick airport missed their flights. “Safety is our top priority and we are doing all we can to reopen the lanes as quickly as possible and are currently in the process of repairing the defect. In the meantime we advise drivers to avoid this section of the anti-clockwise M25 and seek alternative routes.
British Highways Agency urged motorists to try and avoid the area where possible as long delays are likely but the stranded cars and trucks caught in the motorway jam was by then spreading to nearby Heathrow Airport. Motorists using the M25 to travel to Gatwick Airport should allow extra time for their journey and use alternative routes. Long delays are likely until the motorway fully reopens.” Earlier, the agency had said the problem had occurred following maintenance crew work overnight to replace three sections of concrete road surface between junctions 9 and 10. The agency added: “One of these concrete sections disintegrated and another section was showing signs of distress.”