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M11 road works: Three months of disruption ahead for motorists between Bishop's Stortford and Harlow junctions

M11 motorists can expect disruption over the next three months as a result of drainage renewal works – and residents in Sawbridgeworth fear major jams in the town as a result of drivers ignoring the official diversion route.

Diversions are in place as contractors begin the project in both directions between junctions 7 at Harlow and 8 at Birchanger Green, near Bishop’s Stortford.

Highways England plans to complete the work over an 11-week period, from Monday October 5 to Friday December 18, working between 7.30am and 6pm, subject to weather conditions.

M11 diversion route (42548550)
M11 diversion route (42548550)

The renewal work will be carried out under lane closures which will be in place 24 hours a day.

The northbound M11 between junctions 7 and 8 will be closed for the four following weekends, from 10pm on the Friday to 5am on the Monday: November 6-9, November 13-16, November 20-23 and December 4-7.

Traffic will be diverted off the motorway at junction 7 to join the westbound A414 to the A10 near Ware, then northbound to Puckeridge and onto the A120 eastbound to rejoin the M11 at junction 8.

Highways England warns: “We expect this will add approximately 35 minutes to your journey.”

After the notice from Highways England was posted on the Sawbridgeworth Facebook group, some residents were concerned that some drivers would ignore the official diversion and opt for a shorter route along the A1184 through the town, causing major hold-ups.

One said: “I can’t imagine this route being used by people with sat navs or using Google Maps. Obviously Sawbridgeworth is the most likely route people will take. It is an absolute joke!”

The resident who posted the news to the group last Monday (September 28) reported that on the Sunday morning the day before, he “passed 30 lorries, 15 coaches, plus loads of cars and vans” on the road from Sawbridgeworth to Stortford due to the southbound M11 being closed following a fatal accident.

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