This southern link from Brighton into London skips past the M25 and Gatwick Airport, making the M23 a busy route to travel down.
The M23 only has three major junctions to navigate through before the road drops a lane and continues into the A23. As well as being the main entrance to one of the UK’s busiest airports it also directly connects onto the M25, which provides links to Heathrow Airport via the M4, onto Watford via the M1 and towards Sutton using the A217. The M23 directly connects onto the A264 into Crawley and the sprawling High Weald National Park.
The M23 is a relatively new road which was originally planned to be more expansive, stretching through South London to reduce congestion. With the London ringway proposal falling flat in 1972, the plans for the M23 scaled right back to coincide with the build of the M25 between 1972 and 1975. The M23 we know today opened fully in 1997 with the completion of Junction 10 and 11 connecting Crawley with the A23.
With road users regularly making their connection onto busier motorways via the M23, it’s recommended that you look out for any M23 travel news reports before you set off for your journey. The RAC Route Planner app can help you plan and prepare for your journey.
Worst Junctions on the M23
The M23 is a relatively small motorway with big plans to update its troublesome junctions. While these are being completed do take care, especially around the below junctions. Use the RAC Route Planner to plan ahead and look for any traffic or M23 travel news.
Junction 8 - This connection has been recorded as a tricky junction for its complex pathway that flows traffic onto the M25 and continues the M23 into Croydon and London. It’s one of the main junctions on the M23 so has to juggle congestion especially during peak times. Make sure you’re mindful of the influx of traffic and find your lane early.
Accident Hotspots on the M23
The bustling M23 connects to other major routes including the M25. With the added congestion, some of the junctions on the M23 can be problematic. Be mindful when approaching the below accident blackspots and check for any M23 traffic updates before you leave. The RAC Route Planner will help you plan your route, with up to date M23 travel news so you can avoid any unexpected delays.
There have been several previously reported accidents between junction 8 and 9. This may have been a result of the growing number of road users coming off the M25 to move towards Gatwick. Look for any reported M23 traffic news and take care coming off and on the junction.
With a sharp turn from the A264 roundabout onto the M23, junction 11 has caught some drivers off guard in the past. Ensure you’re giving yourself enough time to slow down on approach to the roundabout to ensure you can find your exit.
Upcoming M23 Major Roadworks
The M23 is the main route into Gatwick Airport, with many commuters and holidaymakers using the network daily. Because of this, there are always plans to improve the road conditions, which may cause short-term congestion. Make sure you plan your journey ahead of time using the RAC Route Planner app to check for any M23 travel updates and reported delays.
Upcoming major roadworks on the M23 include:
Between junction 8 to 10 - Work is underway to upgrade the 11-mile connection between junction 8 and 10 into a smart motorway. This is to improve links to Gatwick Airport. Give yourself enough time to travel to and from Gatwick as the speed limit will be reduced to 50 mph during the time of construction. The major scheme is set to finish in 2019/20.