M23 smart motorway closures - all you need to know

M23 latest closures
M23 latest closures

The next full road closures for the M23 starts on Friday (December 7) for three nights as work continues to turn junctions 8 to ten into a smart motorway.

The closure will be between 9pm and 6am in both directions on Friday and the weekend.

Early environmental works are nearing completion which have included vegetation and tree clearing along the verge.

The clearance was undertaken to accommodate new retaining walls, environmental (noise) barriers, gantries and emergency areas as part of the scheme.

Why the scheme is needed

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 there will be 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 (SOS) 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 the maintenance facility, Weatherhill Depot.

- creating a new emergency turn-around facility at Coopers Hill Road to minimise response times to incidents.