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M25 in Kent between junctions 4 and 5 back open after sinkholes discovered

By KentOnline reporter

Drivers face chaos on the roads this morning after sink holes were discovered on the M25 following yesterday's heavy rain.

The road was closed in both directions between junctions 4 and 5 earlier, with police warning people to avoid the area.

The section of motorway has since been fully reopened - but there are problems on another section of the M25.

The M25 is closed in both directions (12124750)
The M25 is closed in both directions (12124750)

A separate police incident has left the motorway blocked in both directions from junction 3 the Swanley Interchange to junction 4 for Orpington.

Congestion stretches back to junction 2 the Darenth Interchange on the clockwise carriageway and back to junction 5 for the M26 on the anticlockwise route.

Police have not revealed details of why the motorway has been shut.

A police spokesman said: "The M25 near Swanley is closed in both directions between junctions 3 and 4 while emergency services are dealing with an incident.

"There is considerable congestion in the area and drivers may wish to consider alternative routes."

It comes after yesterday's heavy rainfall led to flooding amid warnings to stay home unless journeys are vital.

Kent Police said two sink holes were discovered in the early hours of Tuesday morning following investigations into a single vehicle accident.

Inspectors from Highways England were sent to the scene and the decision was made to close the road in both directions.

Drivers travelling anti-clockwise are recommended to join the M26 and head east to pick up the M20.

At junction 4 of the M20 recirculate the roundabout and rejoin the M20 London-bound. Continue to the M26 and rejoin the M25 at junction 5.

Drivers travelling clockwise should exit the M25 at junction 4 and rejoin the M25 anti-clockwise. Proceed to junction 3, take the M20 east-bound to junction 4, rejoin the M20 west-bound, continue to the M26 and rejoin the M25 at junction 5.

Heavy rain has caused flooding in parts of Kent (12099943)
Heavy rain has caused flooding in parts of Kent (12099943)

Flooding has also caused problems for rail travellers.

Flooding in the Orpington area means Southeastern services are being diverted between Sevenoaks and Chislehurst.

It follows yesterday's downpours, when a month of rain fell in 24 hours.

Flooding affected many areas, including Maidstone town centre.

Conditions were particularly bad on the A249, where drivers have reported a large amount of standing water between Sittingbourne and Maidstone.

The Maidstone-bound stretch near Stockbury has also been reduced to one lane as drivers slow down to negotiate flood water.

Torrential rain started falling in the Medway area at around 6.40pm and continued for at least 35 minutes causing particular issues in Chatham.

The Met Office said today's weather should be an improvement with warm sunshine in some areas.

It is not the first time huge voids have suddenly opened up on major routes.

In 2016, the A249 at Sittingbourne had to be shut for weeks after a hole appeared next to a slip road.

And in 2014, a 15ft deep chasm was a feature of the M2 between Sittingbourne and Faversham.

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