HOLIDAYMAKERS could face a nightmare getting to Gatwick for their flights.

It has been announced that the normal M23 exit into the airport will be shut for 38 hours, with diversions being set up.

Travellers are being advised to leave extra time when travelling to the airport over the affected weekend.

Highways England has announced that the entrance to the airport at Junction 9 will be closed from 10pm on Friday, May 17 until Midday on Sunday, May 19.

A statement by Highways England said: “The areas where we will be working include Junction 9 and Gatwick Spur and roundabout.

“The southbound exit slip and northbound exit slip will be closed for traffic. There will be no access into Gatwick Airport from Junction 9.

“The M23 main carriageway in both directions will be open for traffic. There will be a fully signed diversion route in place.”

The closure of the spur is the latest development in the ongoing £164 million plans for the M23.

A Gatwick spokesman said: “From 10.00pm on Friday May 17 to 12.00pm on Sunday 19, the M23 spur road (Westbound J9-9a) from the motorway into the airport will be closed.

“Diversions will be in place, however congestion is likely.

“Passengers arriving at the airport by road during this time are advised to allow additional time for their journey or to consider using alternative forms of transport such as rail.

“The M23 spur road (Eastbound J9a-9) out of the airport towards the M23 will remain open throughout the weekend.

“The main M23 carriageway will also remain open throughout.”

The airport has also given a number of diversion routes:

• Southbound traffic (from M25) will be diverted to junction 10 and via Crawley to reach Gatwick (via A2011 Crawley Avenue, A23 London Road, and Airport Way).

• Northbound traffic (from Brighton) will be diverted off the M23 at junction 10 and via the same Crawley route to reach the airport.

• Northbound vehicles which miss the initial diversion at junction 10 follow a secondary diversion to M25 J6 (Godstone) and return to junction 10 via the southbound carriageway.

Works started in July 2018 and are expected to be completed in the spring of 2020.

Major aspects of the roadworks include the conversion of the M23 hard shoulder to a fourth lane and making the Gatwick spur three lanes.

Families will be relieved that these roadworks are taking place a week before many of them plan to get away for their half-term holiday.