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Arrests on Dartford Bridge approach as Insulate Britain protesters stage eighth day of protests


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Protesters from Insulate Britain have held up traffic on the M25 yet again.

There were long queues on the approach to the Dartford Bridge this morning as demonstrators staged another sit-in across Junction 30 on the Essex side.

Insulate Britain protesters walk into the middle of a busy junction

Essex Police say they have arrested nine people. Photo: Essex Police
Essex Police say they have arrested nine people. Photo: Essex Police

Climate change activists targeted the busy junction near Thurrock at around 8am today, once again glueing their hands to the road, as they continue to disobey court injunctions.

As of 10.30am all lanes have now reopened.

Essex Police says it has arrested nine people on suspicion of highway obstruction.

It comes less than 24 hours after protesters glued themselves to parts of the Swanley interchange twice in one day. One campaigner was arrested after reportedly glueing themselves to a police car.

Eleven people were arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway and conspiracy to commit criminal damage as the demonstration was cleared.

Insulate Britain protestors block a junction of the M25 near the Swanley Interchange yesterday. Photo: Insulate Britain
Insulate Britain protestors block a junction of the M25 near the Swanley Interchange yesterday. Photo: Insulate Britain

But the group returned at 1pm when a further 16 arrests were made for the same offence. All 27 people are being held in custody.

Ministers say legal proceedings have begun against green activists who face fines or prison for blocking the M25.

The High Court injunction obtained by the government on September 22 means anyone blocking the motorway could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

But protesters have continued to defy the message and stage more protests despite the threat of court action.

Today's action represents the group's eighth road block in just over two weeks and comes as the country continues to grapple with the ongoing fuel delivery crisis.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We were called to reports of people blocking the road at Junction 30 at 8.10am and officers were on scene within minutes.

"They worked to resolve the situation quickly and safely and were able to swiftly re-open lane two to allow traffic to keep flowing.

"We know this will have been frustrating for drivers caught in the traffic this caused and we want to thank you for your patience and understanding."

However, Insulate Britain said it will be "raising the tempo" this week amid frustration over what it perceives to be a lack of a "meaningful response" from the government.

A spokesman for the pressure group said: "We are deeply concerned that with rising fuel bills and not enough action on insulation, there will be further unnecessary suffering and deaths among the most vulnerable this winter.

“It's not just cold and hungry Britain, it's billions of pounds wasted on fuel costs for everyone.

"Failing to help hardworking families, failing to stop poverty fuel deaths, failing to protect the country we love from the biggest threat it has ever faced."

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

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