M25 reopens after pothole collapse causes day-long closure

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Media captionTraffic is flowing freely at the site of the incident, but there was misery for miles behind

A section of the M25 in Surrey has reopened to traffic after it was closed throughout Friday when a pothole the width of an entire lane appeared at junction nine.

Heavy rain was blamed for preventing concrete used during overnight repairs to the carriageway, from setting.

Thousands of motorists were held up for hours with tailbacks at one stage said to be stretching 16 miles.

AA president Edmund King has called for an inquiry into what went wrong.

Describing the M25 as the "road to hell" on Friday he said there had to 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.

Image caption An aerial view of the M25 in Surrey shows the traffic tailing back for miles

"As it has happened on the roads, drivers just have to put up with it."

The road collapsed on the anti-clockwise section at about 05:00 GMT on Friday as concrete repairs carried out on Thursday failed to set in heavy rain.

The Highways Agency said: "One of these concrete sections disintegrated and another section was showing signs of distress."

The pothole which measured 16ft (4.8m) long and 11.8in (0.3m) deep caused many motorist to shred their tyres, Surrey Police said.

The lanes between junctions 10 and nine finally reopened at about 04:00 on Saturday.

One lane remained available for motorists, but many people travelling to Gatwick Airport reported missing their flights as a result of the disruption.

Reporting from the scene on Friday, BBC Surrey reporter Adrian Harms said: "It's been a nightmare. All the local roads seems to be really badly snarled up."

Road minister John Hayes said he would be expecting to see an urgent report from the Highways Agency detailing what had happened.

Image copyright Surrey Roads Police
Image caption Part of the carriageway collapsed after overnight roadworks had been carried out

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