Highways England (HE) has unveiled detailed plans for a major upgrade to one of the busiest motorway junctions in the country, as the project begins a six-week public consultation process this week.
Under the plans, the interchange between the M25 motorway and the A3 major trunk road near Wisley in Surrey will be redesigned to create four dedicated link roads for all drivers making left turns at the junction, while drivers turning right will use a new enlarged junction roundabout. The A3 will also be widened from three lanes to four between Ockham and Painshill in both directions, with two lanes remaining over the M25. A new access road providing better, safer access to several local roads and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden at Wisley will be created. The A245 will also be widened near the Painshill junction to accommodate three lanes of traffic leaving and joining the A3.
The M25/A3 interchange is a key congestion pinch-point on the UK’s strategic road network and has one of the highest recorded collision rates across HE’s network. The package of improvements will create extra capacity at the junction and the surrounding area, and will shave up to five minutes off journeys made through the junction during the morning and afternoon peaks. Journey times will be cut for up to 100,000 drivers that use the junction each day, with the plans projected to reduce collisions by 46%, while respecting the surrounding environment. Two options for the upgrade were initially put to the public last winter before a preferred option was announced in November. Since then, HE has been developing the proposals, including detailed discussions with key stakeholders and residents, including RHS Wisley, Painshill Park, and others.
“This consultation will help determine the final proposals we end up taking forward for planning permission. Around 100,000 drivers each day use this busy junction to switch between the M25 and A3, with a further 170,000 drivers passing through the junction daily, often getting caught up in rush-hour congestion and tailbacks,” explained HE’s regional delivery director for the South East, Chris Welby-Everard. “We have worked hard on developing the plans further since we announced the preferred option last year. As well as making a real difference to people’s journeys, we are proposing better, safer access for the local roads that currently turn directly onto the A3, and offering significantly upgraded crossing points for people on foot, by bike or on horseback, and making sure we respect the protected environments nearby.”