St Albans holidaymaker speaks out about “poor” M25 signs which nearly caused him to miss flight

A diversion sign. Picture: Steve Williams.

A diversion sign. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A holidaymaker has spoken out about “unclear” road signage which meant he nearly missed a flight.

Roger and Mary Walker set off from Colney Heath at 3.30am last December to catch a Stansted Airport flight as part of a £500 five day package holiday to Rome and Venice.

Taking the M25, the couple saw a sign simply saying that junction 27 was closed. However, because they were using a Sat Nav Roger and Mary were unsure if that affected their route.

Unfortunately it did, forcing them to make a detour via the A10.

The whole journey should take about 45 minutes, without traffic, but Roger and Mary arrived at the airport at 5.45am - almost an hour later than expected.

They only just scraped onto the flight by 10 minutes, just as the gate was closing.

Stansted Airport advise passengers to arrive and be ready for security checks at least two hours before departure.

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Roger said: “We got there in the end, but we were in the last 20 or so to get on board. It was a bit of a rush and we were not certain we would get on.

“The signage was very poor. There were signs saying junction 27 but no indication of what junction 27 meant.

“I would expect it to say junction 27 and indicate that was for the M11. If you are travelling using a motorway map then it would be okay but on a Sat Nav you have no idea.”

Although the couple had travel insurance, Roger was unsure how much replacements flights would have cost.

He added: “We like to get to the airport, have a coffee, be relaxed, find our way to the gate, and board the plane - but of course that went out the window.”

A spokesperson for Highways England, who manage signage on the M25, said: “We plan diversions carefully to ensure they’re kept to a minimum.

“They are always approved by the police and the local authority.

“Black and yellow advance warning signs are put in place on the hard shoulder 14 days prior to the works, to advise motorists of the closure.”

Highways England operate and maintain England’s motorways and major A-roads by working with the Department for Transport.