Fringe Box



Letter: There Is Something Fishy About the Approval of the Junction 10 Project

Published on: 18 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 18 Jan, 2024

Part of the site clearance work at Junction 10 carried out by National Highways.

From: David Roberts

In response to: The Pros and Cons of the Re-designed Junction 10

There is something very fishy about the way The M25 Junction 10 project was approved after years of deferments by successive Transport Secretaries.

Clearly there were doubts. It will now probably come in at around half a billion quid, twice the original 2014 budget. It is a scandal to spend this astronomical amount when there are so many greater calls on the public purse. Think what else could be done with half a billion.

Journey times will not be improved since traffic will just be displaced quicker onto already overloaded local routes such as the Byfleet Road and the A3 Guildford by-pass.

The new access to Wisley Gardens is a bridge to nowhere: a fast way to shift traffic to the single-lane pinch-point at the Anchor Inn Wey navigation crossing. Local transport budgets will end up picking up the tab for this national megalomania.

It has been routinely claimed that Junction 10 is the most dangerous one on the M25, but this is not the experience of local residents. National Highways’ own traffic data makes it only the third or fourth most hazardous junction, depending on how you measure it. So total rebuilding should not be a top priority.

Neither Surrey County Council nor the relevant borough councils have put up much of a fight against this biggest single local environmental devastation in history, seemingly relieved that it is not their project. The idea that National Highways is re-creating rare temperate heathland (rarer, we are constantly told, than tropical rainforests) is pure greenwash.

Those parts of this enormous site that will not actually be covered in tarmac flyovers will simply be abandoned to a re-growth of treeless common scrub. Residents are left to mourn the loss of tens of thousands of mature trees and the wildlife habitat they provided.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: There Is Something Fishy About the Approval of the Junction 10 Project

  1. Stephen Thornley Reply

    January 18, 2024 at 5:26 pm

    I watched the National Highways Junction 10 M25/A3 project overview video on the Highways England website and was very impressed with what is going to result from all this infrastructure work.

    Can’t wait for them to end but at least I now know what’s being achieved.

  2. Ben Paton Reply

    January 18, 2024 at 6:35 pm

    “The new access to Wisley Gardens is a bridge to nowhere.”

    In order to create a new access to Wisley Lane and RHS Wisley (to substitute the old direct ingress and egress from the A3, National Highways have had to build two colossal new bridges. One bridge is over Stratford Brook. The other is over the A3.

    What was the cost buying the land and building these two bridges to implement this new access design?

    And why was it necessary? The highways agency argued that the direct ingress and egress between Wisley Lane and the A3 caused a disproportionate number of traffic accidents. But did it ever model the costs and benefits of some ‘smart’ technology on the A3 to make this section safer?

    Would not introducing “smart” speed limits on this section have achieved the same effect at a fraction of the cost?

    Instead tens of millions have been spent to access to a lane that for all practical purposes leads nowhere – except to the Royal Horticultural Gardens. National Highways noticed that the RHS has literally millions of members – and was not prepared to confront it.
    “Journey times will not be improved.”

    Another reason why this is true is that when the J10 works were designed and approved they were premised on the introduction of “Smart Motorway” infrastructure between J10 and J13/14. Since then, it has been decided that the Smart Motorway infrastructure will not be installed. Ostensibly this is because of the safety concerns surrounding removal of the hard shoulder.

    The purpose of the Smart Motorway iniative was to increase the capacity of motorways. Under this approach National Highways would not invest in new lanes – which would be colossally expensive. Instead it would cannabilise and re-purpose the hard shoulder.

    Government thought this was “smart”. In fact it was just a sticking plaster to create the impression that the infrastructure was being improved by using real time computer controlled regulation of traffic speeds and lane use.

    But when the concept was rolled out it resulted in several people who had broken down on the hard shoulder being killed.

    • Tom Mackenzie Reply

      January 20, 2024 at 11:08 pm

      I’m struggling to follow Mr Paton’s logic. He suggests use of ‘smart’ technology on the A3, however, this is only used on motorways. On the other hand he rubbishes smart motorways.
      The final paragraph, I suspect, refers to lane one of an all lane running motorway, rather than the hard shoulder. An examination of accident statistics would reveal, sadly that a number of people have been killed on the hard shoulder of traditional motorways. It would also show that all lane running motorways is no less safe than traditional motorways.
      The technical and financial questions posed would be better directed at National Highways, if a Google search cannot provide answers. The Dragon does suffer from a surfeit of correspondents’ semi-rhetorical questions which I’m sure the editor is not able to answer or have time to forward in most cases.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *