M23 junctions 8 to 10: smart motorway

Upgrading the 11 mile (18km) stretch of the M23 near Gatwick Airport, between junction 8 near Merstham and junction 10 at Copthorne, to an all-lane running smart motorway.

Region:  South East
Start date:  2017-18
Cost:  ÂŁ164 million
Status:  CURRENT
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  2019-20
Programme:  Smart motorways

Have your say

We've introduced a new engagement tool where you can give your views on the project. Please click on the map below to add your comments about specific parts of the route.

Preview image of interactive map for what you would like to see improved along the M23 between Junction 8 and 10

Progress report

The consultation for the implementation of Variable Mandatory Speed limits between junctions 8 and 10, and the permanent 50mph speed limit on the westbound carriageway of the Gatwick Spur from the M23 junction 9 to 9a, was undertaken between 11 December 2017 and 15 January 2018. The summary of comments received and our responses can be found in the consultation report.

We can now announce the formal commencement of the scheme with our delivery partner, Kier.

We're regularly communicating with Surrey and West Sussex County Council and working closely with Gatwick Airport to issue joint communications when major work is taking place. The Smart Motorways Project can also be found on the Gatwick Airport App and web page.

Early environmental works are now completed. These 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. All gantries are now in place, and technology is planned to be installed in the new year. Sound barriers are in situ with the exception of 2 areas where we are still undertaking works.

We are currently in the process of moving from the verge areas into the central reservation where we will be relaying drainage, installing the comms for the gantries and constructing a new central barrier.

What's next?

Works in the central reserve

When we work in the central reserve we’ll replace the existing barrier with a new solid concrete barrier and will resurface lanes one and four between junctions 8 and 10. There will be a number of closures to facilitate this over the coming weeks.

The whole project is expected to be completed in spring 2020.

All work is weather dependent and subject to change. Please ensure you check the roadworks tab below before travelling.

We are using the diversion routes approved by Sussex & Surrey Police Force and Local Authorities. From Junction 10 of the M23 to Gatwick Airport– via the A2011, A23, Airport Way leading to the North and South Terminals.

To the M25 – via junction 10 of the M23, A264, A22 follow signs to Godstone and join M25 at junction 6. For Gatwick via junction 10 of the M23, A2011, A23, Airport Way and into the terminals.

Additional signage will be in place and advance warning signs will be in place 2 weeks before work starts.

Narrow lanes and a reduced speed limit of 50mph north and south bound 24/7. Free recovery service and speed enforcement are now in place to ensure drivers and road workers safety.

Diversion routes

We'll be closing the M23 overnight on several nights until 20 December while work is carried out. The following diversion routes will be in place:

2-6 December 2019 - full closure from junction 10 to junction 8 and slip roads at junctions 10 and 9

Diversion for M25 via A264 Copthorne Rd and A22. Re-join at M25 junction 6.

Diversion for Gatwick A2011 Crawley Ave, A23 London Road, Airport Way.

9-13 December 2019 - full closure from junction 8 to junction 10

Diversion to Brighton - via M25 junction 6, A22, A264 Copthorne Road. Re-join M23 at junction 10.

Diversion for Gatwick - traffic continues on A2011 Crawley Ave, A23 London Road, Airport Way.

9-13 December 2019 - full closure from the M25 junction 7 anti-clockwise leading onto the M23 southbound.

Diversion to M25 junction 8, back to junction 6 and follow A22 diversion.

16-20 December 2019 - full closure from junction 8 to junction 10

Diversion to Brighton - via M25 junction 6, A22 , A264 Copthorne Road. Re-join M23 at junction 10.

Diversion for Gatwick - traffic continues on A2011 Crawley Ave, A23 London Road, Airport Way.

16-20 December 2019 - full closure from the M25 junction 7 anti-clockwise leading onto the M23 southbound.

Diversion to M25 junction 8, back to junction 6 and follow A22 diversion.

Please check the Planned roadworks section below for the latest closure dates and times.

Timeline

Date Event
2016 – March 2018 Design works
July 2018 Start of advanced works
September 2018 Start of main works
July 2019 Switch to central reservation
Spring 2020 Completion of main works

Community news

Over the next two years we'll be looking to help and support local community projects, along with our two chosen charities, Kent Air Ambulance and Neuro-Kinex Kids in Crawley, as well as supporting local schools and colleges with STEM work and apprentice/careers advice. We recently undertook a project for a local school to clear land so the children can plant in the spring and grow a sensory garden for the pupils to enjoy.

You can request to be placed on the weekly M23 junction 8 to 10 update regarding the scheme. To sign up for this email: M23J8_10smart@highwaysengland.co.uk

Why we need this scheme

The M23 is a crucial part of the UK strategic road network connecting Crawley and Gatwick Airport to the M25 motorway, routes into London and the rest of the UK. 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.

Aims

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 we're creating 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 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 our maintenance facility, Weatherhill Depot
  • creating a new emergency turn-around facility at Coopers Hill Road to minimise our response times to incidents

Environmental impact

We've considered the full range of environmental topics and found that there will be no significant long-term effects. Temporary effects during construction will be slight changes in views, construction noise, disruption to road users and some loss of habitat. The key issues we've considered are:

  • noise and vibration, air quality, ecology and visual impacts in relation to nearby housing
  • the Site of Special Scientific Interest between Mole Gate and Reigate Escarpment
  • protected species and habitats including bats, badgers and great crested newts
  • the setting of conservation areas and heritage assets such as Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • public rights of way

We've carried out surveys for protected species adjacent to the motorway. Mitigation work will be undertaken within Natural England licenses. The vegetation clearance has to be undertaken at certain times of the year to minimise disruption to wildlife.

We'll retain existing screening planting where possible and propose additional planting upon completion of the scheme to minimise views of the motorway and associated equipment. Much of the M23 between junction 8 and 10 is either in a cutting or on an embankment, so to provide sufficient structural integrity to the new running lane significant earthworks are necessary. We've tried to minimise vegetation clearance, but in some areas it's not always possible.

We're installing new environmental barriers to minimise noise effects. A plan showing the location of the existing and new barriers will be provided in due course. The plans will show the length and the height of the new barriers. The type of barrier being used for this scheme is absorptive as this type takes in noise, reducing the noise energy that reaches residents.

The new lanes (termed lanes 1 and 4) will have low noise pavement. The existing lanes are in good condition and don't require resurfacing as part of this scheme. We'll resurface these lanes when the condition of pavement falls below our required standards.

Project media files and documents

There are no images for this project

Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The M25 clockwise entry slip at junction J7 from the M23 south. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:30 on 15 December 2019 to 05:30 on 16 December 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 15, 2019, 5:30 am
Location : The M23 southbound exit slip at junction J8 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:30 on 15 December 2019 to 05:30 on 16 December 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: December 15, 2019, 5:30 am
Location : The M23 southbound between junctions J7 and J11 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 20:01 on 13 December 2019 to 06:00 on 30 March 2020.
Posted: December 14, 2019, 12:39 pm
Location : The M23 southbound exit slip at junction J9 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 18 December 2019 to 20 December 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 13 January 2020 to 18 January 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 27 January 2020 to 1 February 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 10 February 2020 to 15 February 2020. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 14, 2019, 6:04 am
Location : The M23 southbound entry slip at junction J9 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 18 December 2019 to 20 December 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 13 January 2020 to 18 January 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 27 January 2020 to 1 February 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 10 February 2020 to 15 February 2020. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 14, 2019, 6:04 am
Location : The M23 southbound entry slip at junction J8 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 18 December 2019 to 20 December 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 13 January 2020 to 18 January 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 27 January 2020 to 1 February 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 10 February 2020 to 15 February 2020. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 14, 2019, 6:04 am
Location : The M23 southbound between junctions J7 and J11 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 18 December 2019 to 20 December 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 13 January 2020 to 18 January 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 27 January 2020 to 1 February 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 10 February 2020 to 15 February 2020. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 14, 2019, 6:04 am
Location : The M23 southbound exit slip at junction J10 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 18 December 2019 to 20 December 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 13 January 2020 to 18 January 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 27 January 2020 to 1 February 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 10 February 2020 to 15 February 2020. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 14, 2019, 6:04 am
Location : The M23 southbound entry slip at junction J8 from the M25 anticlockwise. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 18 December 2019 to 20 December 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 13 January 2020 to 18 January 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 27 January 2020 to 1 February 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 10 February 2020 to 15 February 2020. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 14, 2019, 6:04 am
Location : The M25 anticlockwise between junctions J6 and J5 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:30 from 16 December 2019 to 20 December 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be three of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 13, 2019, 12:55 pm
Location : The M25 clockwise between junctions J5 and J6 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 17 December 2019 to 05:00 on 18 December 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 13, 2019, 12:37 pm
Location : The M25 clockwise at junction J6 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 17 December 2019 to 05:00 on 18 December 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: December 13, 2019, 12:37 pm
Location : The M23 northbound between junctions J10 and J9 . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 18 December 2019 to 06:00 on 20 December 2019.
Posted: December 12, 2019, 11:32 pm
Location : The M23 northbound between junctions J10 and J9 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 19 December 2019 to 06:00 on 20 December 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: December 12, 2019, 11:32 pm
Location : The M23 northbound between junctions J10A and J9 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 15 December 2019 to 06:00 on 16 December 2019. Schedule : From 21:00 on 18 December 2019 to 06:00 on 19 December 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 12, 2019, 11:32 pm
Location : The M25 anticlockwise between junctions J9 and J8 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2, 3 and 4 will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:30 from 16 December 2019 to 18 December 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be three of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 12, 2019, 8:10 pm
Location : The M25 anticlockwise between junctions J9 and J8 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2, 3 and 4 will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:30 from 18 December 2019 to 20 December 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be three of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 12, 2019, 8:10 pm

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