Fringe Box



M25 J10 Improvements Delayed For Third Time By Secretary Shapps

Published on: 29 Oct, 2021
Updated on: 7 Nov, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

The £250 million M25 Junction 10 improvement has been delayed for a third time this year by the Secretary of State, Grant Shapps.

Aerial view of junction 10 on the M25.

The scheme plans to improve safety and smooth traffic flows at the junction by the construction of new slip roads for the M25, increasing the A3 to four lanes either side of the junction 10 roundabout and improvements to the A245 Sevenhills junction and Painshill roundabout.

The postponement will raise further doubt about the scheme’s viability (see M25 Junction 10 Revamp In Doubt As Secretary Shapps Delays Decision Again).

A statement from the Department for Transport (DfT) said the decision had been put back until May 2022 to “allow further consideration of environmental matters”.

A spokesperson for the project team at National Highways, when asked by The Dragon what environmental matters were to be further examined, said they were not able to provide any further detail as it had not been “clarified with the scheme”.

The decision to proceed had originally been planned for January 2021 but this had been extended to May 2021 and then to November 2021. The DfT had consulted in July 2021 on the scheme’s compliance with the sixth carbon budget, the legal target to cut emissions, and air quality monitoring.

The roads project is opposed by RHS Wisley on environmental grounds and the Wisley Action Group who are campaigning against the 2,000 home Wisley Airfield development.

It is reported that the developer, Taylor Wimpey, have delayed their planning application for the scheme to 2022. We have asked Taylor Wimpey to comment.

National Highways project manager, Jonathan Wade said: “While we are disappointed with this further delay, we are committed to delivering the improvements at M25 junction 10 and will continue to work with the Planning Inspectorate, local stakeholders and neighbouring local authorities until the Secretary of State makes his decision.”

A proposal by National Highways to proceed with vegetation clearance at the site prior to the SoS decision was criticised by Ockham Parish Council chair, Dr Malcolm Aish who said: “We have respectfully suggested that Mr Wade awaits an affirmative decision before proceeding with his plans to destroy major areas of vegetation and wildlife.”

Update from an email from National Highways (November 5 2021): National Highways assistant project manager, Martin Aldred said: “The vegetation work was designed to ensure that reptiles were discouraged from hibernating in the areas where work could have potentially started this winter, had the DCO been granted. The vegetation will now be allowed to grow back. This work needed to be completed before the start of the hibernation period at the end of October, which was before the DCO decision was due to be made in November.”

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Responses to M25 J10 Improvements Delayed For Third Time By Secretary Shapps

  1. Terry Duhig Reply

    October 29, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Totally agree with Ockham Parish Council. Highways England needs to wait until final permission is given, especially as the current plans will hopefully be rejected. We need all of RHS Wisley.

  2. Tony Edwards Reply

    October 31, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Jonathan Wade of National Highways has demonstrated what can only be described as a particularly curious sense of logic in second-guessing the Secretary of State’s decision.

    In recent correspondence he argued: “Had the Secretary of State been minded not to award the Development Consent Order [DCO], he has had three opportunities to say that. But he hasn’t. We must therefore plan ahead on the basis that the DCO will be granted”.

    So, although the SoS has deferred his decision until next May, Mr Wade felt justified in clearing large swathes of vegetation at Wisley Common, with the resultant destruction of flower and fauna – not to mention the unnecessary cost to the taxpayer.

    It seems that the absence of a ‘No’ decision indicates a ‘Yes’ to Mr Wade. And that’s worrying.

    Tony Edwards is a spokesperson for Wisley Action Group (WAG).

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    November 15, 2021 at 8:48 am

    In my humble opinion the scheme that Highways England has adopted as the option is not the ideal one nor it is the lowest cost option with minimum disturbance to traffic during construction.

    I wrote to Highways England about an option that they had not examined. It is an option where the slip roads from the M25 to the A3 are taken through tunnels under the A3 and the M25 underpasses.

    Environmentally, it affects much less of the surrounding ground areas and also costs probably some £50 million pounds less than the designed option.

    HE replied saying it was too late in the day to consider such a radical change in the design but I suggested they started looking into it in detail as there was a possibility that the SoS would delay it further. I have no idea whether they had progressed my idea and in the meantime changed their name to National Highways and a new CEO.

    If you are interested to see my suggested option, you can find it in my Photobucket website under A3 suggested improvements.

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