M25 collapses: Huge potholes and heavy rain spells misery for morning commuters

Heavy rain fell today and during last night over most parts of the country

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The Independent Online

Commuters have been severely delayed today after part of the M25 motorway closed after it had reportedly "collapsed" during heavy rainfall causing tailbacks of nearly 15 miles.

Long queues of cars have formed as three lanes of the anti-clockwise route between junction 11 and junction nine in Surrey were closed while the Highways Agency made emergency repairs to at least two huge potholes in the road.

Drivers are expecting delays of up to one hour and the agency stated this afternoon that clearing the stationary cars will take until 4pm at the earliest, meaning that there will be potentially more congestion during rush-hour.

Commuters this morning posted pictures online of the uneven road surface with captions including the words "collapse" and "subsidence" after nearly 20mm of rain fell per hour during the night and early morning.

Police at the scene of the M25 pothole where three lanes were closed from last night

A photograph of a large pothole filled with muddy rainwater in the M25 slip road at junction nine, near Leatherhead, was issued by Surrey Police and the Highways Agency has been doing maintenance work in the area since last night.

Surrey Roads Police tweeted: "M25 J9 pothole incident will be ongoing for many hours I'm afraid."

Among the thousands caught up in the travel chaos are those heading to catch flights or pick up travellers from nearby Gatwick Airport in West Sussex.

One lane of the anti-clockwise M25 near junction 11 is also closed due to flooding from rain falling over most parts of the UK and drivers using that route can also expect delays.

pothole.jpg AA president Edmund King said "The M25 really is the Road to Hell today. The M25 is critical to the nation and today's incident highlights just how dependant we are on it to function 24/7.

"There must be a thorough investigation into this incident. It is disappointing that not only did the road fail but it placed many drivers in danger and also reportedly damaged a number of vehicles.

"If this happened on the railways passengers could claim compensation. As it has happened on the roads drivers just have to put up with it."

Wet roads caused by heavy rain caused tailbacks on the M3 in Hampshire while accidents caused hold-ups on the M6 just north of Birmingham and on the M50 between Tewkesbury and Ross-on-Wye.