M23 Closure 13th to 19th of May
M23 Closure 13th to 19th of May
M23 Smart Motorway project
Highways England are upgrading the M23 between Junction 8 (M25) and Junction 10 (Crawley) to an all lane running (ALR) smart motorway. Construction starts in June 2018 and will run to spring 2020.
When it’s finished, the M23 will have four running lanes in each direction with a variable speed limit controlled by dynamic signage. The westbound spur road (towards Gatwick) will also be upgraded to three running lanes.
How will this impact journey times?
Journey times will be longer than normal. Although the usual three lanes will be maintained throughout the two-year project, a reduced speed limit of 50mph will be in place due to narrow lanes.
Why is the M23 being upgraded?
The M23 is a very busy road used by traffic travelling to and from the airport and between Brighton and London, particularly during holiday periods. As a result, safety, congestion and journey times need to be improved, which can be facilitated by a smart motorway.
Details of M23 Closure
Monday 13 May – M23 Smart Motorway works – overnight full motorway closure in both directions
Between 22:00 – 04:00. Full southbound carriageway closure Junction 8 (M25) to Junction 9 (Gatwick). The southbound carriageway will be open from Junction 9, allowing traffic leaving Gatwick to use the motorway. Southbound traffic will be diverted via M25 Junction 6 (Godstone), A22 and A264 to join the M23 at Junction 10 (Crawley). Traffic for Gatwick will then follow a secondary diversion via Crawley (A2011, A23 and Airport Way) to reach the airport.
Full northbound closure Junction 10 (Crawley) to Junction 8 (M25). Northbound traffic for Gatwick will be diverted off the motorway at Junction 10 and via the Crawley diversion.
Tuesday 14 May – M23 Smart Motorway works – overnight full southbound closure Junction 8-10
Between 22:00 – 04:00. There will be a full closure of the southbound carriageway between Junction 8 (M25) and Junction 9 (Gatwick). The southbound carriageway will be open from Junction 9, allowing traffic leaving Gatwick to use the motorway. Southbound traffic will be diverted via M25 Junction 6 (Godstone), A22 and A264 to join the M23 at Junction 10 (Crawley).
Traffic for Gatwick will then follow a secondary diversion via Crawley (A2011, A23 and Airport Way) to reach the airport.
The northbound carriageway is unaffected by this work.
Wednesday 15 to Thursday 16 May – M23 Smart Motorway works – overnight full northbound closure Junction 10-8
Between 22:00 – 04:00. There will be a full closure of the northbound carriageway between Junction 10 (Crawley) and Junction 8 (M25) (2 nights)
Traffic will be diverted off the motorway at Junction 10. Traffic for Gatwick will follow the diversion route via Crawley (A2011, A23, Airport Way) to reach the airport. Traffic for the M25 will follow a signed diversion via A264 and A22 to join the M25 at Junction 6 (Godstone).
The southbound carriageway is unaffected by this work.
Friday 17 to Sunday 19 May – M23 Smart Motorway works – 36 hour closure of westbound Gatwick Spur Road
From 22:00 on Friday 17 to 12:00 on Sunday 19 May the westbound Gatwick Spur Road (from M23 Junction 9 towards the airport) will be closed. Both the northbound and southbound exit slip roads at Junction 9 will also be closed.
The main motorway carriageway and the eastbound Spur Road (from Gatwick towards M23 Junction 9) will remain open throughout the weekend.
- Southbound traffic (from M25) will be diverted to Junction 10 and via Crawley to reach Gatwick (via A2011 Crawley Avenue, A23 London Road, and Airport Way).
- Northbound traffic (from Brighton) will be diverted off the M23 at Junction 10 and via the same Crawley route to reach the airport.
- Northbound vehicles which miss the initial diversion at Junction 10 will follow a secondary diversion to M25 Junction 6 (Godstone) and return to Junction 10 via the southbound carriageway.
The closure is likely to cause congestion in the Crawley area. Traffic will be diverted and journeys to and from the airport will take longer than usual. Passengers are advised to plan their journey in advance and leave plenty of additional time.
More Information about the Smart Motorway Upgrade from Highways England
The M23 is a crucial part of the UK strategic road network connecting Crawley and Gatwick Airport to the M25 motorway, routes into London and the rest of the UK. This stretch of the M23 is heavily used by traffic travelling to and from Gatwick Airport and between Brighton and London, especially during UK holiday periods.
As a result safety, congestion and journey times are all key issues that need to be improved. As junction 9 of the M23 is the main access for traffic travelling to and from Gatwick Airport, this scheme is of particular local and national economic and political importance.
This scheme aims to:
- reduce congestion by smoothing the flow of traffic to improve journey times and make them more reliable
- facilitate economic growth within the region, by providing much-needed capacity on the motorway
- maximise motorway capacity while maintaining safety
The scheme in detail:
The proposed scheme will enable proactive management of the M23 carriageway, including the link roads from/to the M25 at junction 8, the spur to Gatwick Airport and to junction 10.
The scheme includes:
- converting the hard shoulder to create a permanent fourth lane between junctions 8 and 10
- converting the westbound hard shoulder along the spur to Gatwick Airport (towards Junction 9a) to create three permanent lanes
- redefined junction layouts to accommodate the fourth lane – in particular we’re creating a dedicated northbound slip road before junction 9 to minimise congestion as traffic leaves the motorway and heads towards Gatwick airport
- new gantries with variable message signs, providing customers with better information
- installing new electronic information signs, signals and CCTV cameras – these will be used to vary speed limits and manage traffic flow and incidents
- installing 12 emergency areas to use in place of the hard shoulder which include emergency roadside telephones and CCTV cameras to improve emergency service response times
- improving the central reserve and adding a reinforced barrier to improve safety
- adding new noise barriers in built up areas
- carriageway widening to provide new acceleration and deceleration lanes to our maintenance facility, Weatherhill Depot
- creating a new emergency turn-around facility at Coopers Hill Road to minimise our response times to incidents
We’ve considered the full range of environmental topics and found that there will be no significant long-term effects. Temporary effects during construction will be slight changes in views, construction noise, disruption to road users and some loss of habitat. The key issues we’ve considered are:
- noise and vibration, air quality, ecology and visual impacts in relation to nearby housing
- the Site of Special Scientific Interest between Mole Gate and Reigate Escarpment
- protected species and habitats including bats, badgers and great crested newts
- the setting of conservation areas and heritage assets such as Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- public rights of way
We’ve carried out surveys for protected species adjacent to the motorway. Mitigation work will be undertaken within Natural England licenses. The vegetation clearance has to be undertaken at certain times of the year to minimise disruption to wildlife.
We’ll retain existing screening planting where possible and propose additional planting upon completion of the scheme to minimise views of the motorway and associated equipment. Much of the M23 between junction 8 and 10 is either in a cutting or on an embankment, so to provide sufficient structural integrity to the new running lane significant earthworks are necessary. We’ve tried to minimise vegetation clearance, but in some areas it’s not always possible.
We’re installing new environmental barriers to minimise noise effects. A plan showing the location of the existing and new barriers will be provided in due course. The plans will show the length and the height of the new barriers. The type of barrier being used for this scheme is absorptive as this type takes in noise, reducing the noise energy that reaches residents.
The new lanes (termed lanes 1 and 4) will have low noise pavement. The existing lanes are in good condition and don’t require resurfacing as part of this scheme. We’ll resurface these lanes when the condition of pavement falls below our required standards.
You can find all the supporting documentation on the Highways England website.
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