The Highways Agency has apologised for a series of failings after a section of the M25 in Surrey collapsed causing huge delays for motorists in November last year.
Many vehicles were left with damaged tyres after the road surface near Leatherhead collapsed following overnight roadworks. The incident led to tailbacks of up to 16 miles as three motorway lanes were closed.
Heavy rain meant the concrete failed to set and a large pothole appeared.
Regional director Simon Jones told the BBC that the Highways Agency made the wrong decision to allow traffic on the road, and failed to get contractors back quickly enough.
He said: “From my perspective, and the Highways Agency, it’s a big apology and it’s something that we’re working on not to happen again.”
Jones also admitted that the information relayed to the public was not good enough.
The technique used to carry out the repairs had been used over 200 times previously, with Jones adding: “On that day, it looked, it felt, it seemed to be in the right area for us to be able to get the traffic running on it.
“But because of the weather conditions and the concrete not curing and too wet, it ultimately was found to be the wrong decision.”
“The biggest criticism that I take to heart [was] that the information we provided on that day probably wasn’t good enough to allow alternative plans.”
Contractors who worked on the initial roadworks could face a penalty of around £360,000 for the delays caused.
Picture courtesy of Surrey Roads Police.