A key route between Central London and Heathrow Airport will be affected by a partial motorway closure for the next few days.
Motorists in West London have been using diversions after the M4 motorway was closed between junctions 1 and 3 on Friday evening so repair work could be carried out to the Boston Manor Viaduct, which is slightly west of junction 2 of the M4.
The M4 has now been reopened in both directions between junctions 1 and 2, but is expected to remain shut between junctions 2 and 3 for the next three days. Drivers have been told to seek alternative routes such as the M3 or M40.
Traffic heading towards the capital will be able to get on the M4 at junction 2, while those leaving London can stay on until junction 2, although they will be affected by a lane closure in this direction.
Paul Watters, the AA’s head of public affairs and roads policy, said: “Closure of the M4 is causing significant disruption on the alternative routes particularly the A316 which provides an alternative route into West London from the M3.
“This also makes the south circular road busy as drivers try to reconnect to the A4 into London. It is also unfortunate that this has coincided with the Farnborough Airshow which attracts extra traffic on South West London routes.
“This route to and from Heathrow Airport is a critical part of the Olympic Route Network and whilst there is an alternative route designated this was only intended as a back up in case of incidents during the Games.
“We are hoping that the M4 will be re-opened later this week and we are sure all involved are mindful of the importance attached to this repair.
“There may well be isolated disruption on key routes during the Games because of unexpected incidents but it would not do our image good if we had roads closed due to failing infrastructure.”
Highway Agency staff had spotted a crack in a highly stressed zone over bridge supports, leading to the closure.
A Highways Agency spokesman said: “We expect the ongoing programme of repairs will be completed to enable the viaduct to operate in its full capacity in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games later this month.
“The closure is a sensible precaution, given the bridge’s importance, both for people driving to and from West London and for the Games.
“The works are being carried out underneath the structure so the scale of the work is not visible from the M4 or from the local road network.”
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