M25 Junction 8 improvement: details on dates expected this year

David Grantham, 21 August 2020

(Photo: reigate.uk)

The published April 2021 start date for the upgrade of Junction 8 of the M25 appears not to be set in stone, with Highways England saying that dates should become clearer by the end of this year.

The project, which will include improvements to the roundabout, and the installation of another southbound lane on Reigate Hill as far down as Wray Lane, has been postponed on previous occasions.

Currently Highways England’s project page states that “work will start in April 2021”.

However, Surrey County Council’s recent announcement that it will close a southbound section of Reigate Hill for 14 weeks from 7 September, to repair a retaining wall, prompted residents to ask why Surrey couldn’t wait until April when the two sets of work could run together.

In response, Surrey said on its website that “it is likely that like last time [Highways England] do not have the funding and the works do not go ahead.

“We cannot delay our works at cost to us on the chance that the Junction 8 improvement works may go ahead in eight months’ time.”

This week a spokesperson for Highways England did not specifically say whether or not funding currently exists for the project.

The spokesperson said that Highways England’s plan is still to upgrade the junction in the current “roads period”, which runs to 2024/2025, and that a clearer idea of dates should emerge by the end of this calendar year.

Both projects running at the same time would have caused “huge disruption to road users”, the spokesperson said, and that Highways England would continue to speak to Surrey County Council about when the “much needed” upgrade might start.

The full quote from Highways England
The Highways England spokesperson said on Wednesday (19 August): “Given the scale of work taking place on the A217, upgrading M25 junction 8 at the same time would have caused huge disruption to road users.

“We are still planning to upgrade the junction within this roads period and continue to speak with Surrey County Council about when this much needed upgrade might start. We hope to have a clearer idea of dates by the end of this year.”

Reigate.uk clarified with the spokesperson that “roads period” is a reference to Roads Period 2, which runs from 2020/2021 to 2024/2025.

What Surrey has said on its website about the M25 works
Surrey’s project page for its A217 retaining wall works (due to begin on 7 September for up to 14 weeks) contains a section headed “Why can we not do these works with Highways England junction 8 improvement works?”

The page says: “We have been in discussion with Highways England about working collaboratively with their works. “The scheme for the junction 8 improvements was postponed last year due to a lack of funding.

“Six months ago, when we started planning the retaining wall works, we contacted Highways England to work collaboratively with them for these works.

“Highways England has told us consistently that the works have not been scheduled and still do not have any funding and that they were not in any position to work collaboratively with us for these works.

“We have since planned and programmed our retaining wall works and agreed on start dates and instructed the teams for the works. We cannot delay the start without a large financial cost to Surrey Highways.

“Highways England have recently published that they have April 2021 as an intended start date for their junction improvement works.

“These dates are an indication of when they may start works, but it is likely that like last time they do not have the funding and the works do not go ahead.

“We cannot delay our works at cost to us on the chance that the junction 8 improvement works may go ahead in eight months time.”