M25 protests: Activists return to Hertfordshire, Surrey and Kent

M25 protests: Activists return to Hertfordshire, Surrey and Kent thumbnail

image source, Insulate Britain

image captionClimate change protesters have returned to the M25 for the second time in three days

Climate change protesters have caused fresh disruption on the M25, blocking roundabouts and the motorway itself.

Insulate Britain activists have caused delays at junctions 23 for South Mimms in Herts; 10 for Wisley and eight for Reigate, Surrey; and 1a and 1b for Dartford, Kent.

Surrey Police said it made 25 arrests and Herts Police detained 18 people.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng condemned the action and said it was putting lives at risk.

In a tweet, he said: “These actions are not only highly disruptive to those going to work and transporting vital goods, but are putting lives at risk on a busy motorway.

“Not to mention the resulting traffic delays will only add to vehicle emissions.”

The protests saw dozens of activists stop traffic on three sections of Britain’s busiest motorway for the second time in three days.

Demonstrators sat on the road, while stranded motorists beeped their horns. Videos posted on social media have shown angry drivers remonstrating with the activists.

image source, Insulate Britain

image captionInsulate Britain say “sitting in the road makes Boris Johnson sit up and take notice”

Surrey Police said the protest was reported just after 08:00 BST on Wednesday, where there were a number of protesters from Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion at junctions eight and 10.

It said it was still at the scene but the activists had been cleared from both junctions by 10:15 BST.

The force added that it was also dealing with a four-vehicle collision on the anti-clockwise carriageway at junction nine for Leatherhead and the road was closed while emergency services attended.

Herts Police said the force was called at 08:00 BST to a protest near junction one of the A1M southbound / junction 23 of the M25 at South Mimms.

It said it was on the scene “within minutes” and “attempted to engage with the group” following “clear, national standards” and balancing “the rights of people to protest with the rights of those affected”.

“However, protestors ignored repeated requests from officers to move to a safer and less disruptive location, and alleged that they had glued themselves to the tarmac, making it clear that their aim was to cause as much disruption as possible,” Spt Adam Willmot said.

He has thanked the public for their “patience and understanding”.

Kent Police said it was called at about 08:20 BST to a report that two groups of people were obstructing the road around junctions 1a and 1b – for the Dartford Tunnel and Princes Road.

It said officers were in attendance and “engaging with the individuals involved” some of whom had reportedly glued their hands to the road surface.

Police have advised motorists to avoid the affected areas and use alternative routes if possible.

image source, Insulate Britain

image captionInsulate Britain activists are blocking the carriageway at junction 23 for the A1 in Hertfordshire
image captionKent Highways said there were delays at junctions 1a and 1b at Dartford

image source, Insulate Britain

image captionActivists have blocked roundabouts at M25 junctions as well as some the carriageway in some areas

The action follows a series of protests on Monday when five junctions were blocked and 77 arrests made by police.

On Wednesday, the group said Insulate Britain “are back”.

It said 89 of its members were taking part in the latest action.

In a tweet, it said: “You’re angry. So are we… But sitting in the road makes Boris Johnson sit up and take notice, so we’re staying, until 10 Downing Street #getonwiththejob.”

image source, Insulate Briatin

image captionSome protesters have glued their hands to the road

In a statement, it added: “Proper jobs for hundreds of thousands of people to start the first real step – to insulate all the homes of this country – which pound for pound gives us the biggest reduction in carbon emissions.

“It is a total no-brainer and yet this government refuses to get on with the job.”

In response to Monday’s protests, a government spokeswoman said: “People’s day-to-day lives should not be disrupted, especially on busy motorways where lives are put at risk and resulting traffic delays will only add to vehicle emissions.

“We are investing £1.3bn this year alone to support people to install energy efficiency measures, and our upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy will set out how we decarbonise the nation’s homes in a way that is fair, practical and affordable.”

image source, Insulate Britain

image captionDuring the latest protest, some activists sat down on the motorway carriageway

Edmund King from the AA said it was “somewhat ironic” that during the last blockade, a thermal insulation engineer was prevented from going to work after being stuck in the traffic queue.

“Whilst most people understand the need to take action on climate change, these motorway blockade tactics are just backfiring as they are alienating the working public stuck in this chaos and subsequently pumping out more emissions,” he said.

“Essential deliveries, emergency services, people missing hospital and business appointments are all hit by these blockades.”

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