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Government takes out new injunction to prevent climate protests by Insulate Britain on major A roads in London linked to the M25

The Government has taken out a fresh injunction aimed at preventing climate activists from blocking roads following disruption on the M25 in Kent and at the Port of Dover.

The measure ban protesters from Insulate Britain from obstructing traffic and access to motorways and major A Roads in and around London.

Insulate Britain protesters disrupt an M25 junction on September 17, 2021. Picture: Insulate Drivers.
Insulate Britain protesters disrupt an M25 junction on September 17, 2021. Picture: Insulate Drivers.

It states the activists must not cause damage to the road surface and infrastructure – and also bans them from using tactics like gluing themselves to the road or abandoning their vehicles.

The crackdown, which Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said will cover “every major road and motorway linked to the M25 is covered by this injunction to help prevent further disruption”, comes after Insulate Britain blocked three motorway junctions in London on Friday.

Anyone who breaks the injunction faces imprisonment or an unlimited fine. Activists found in contempt of court may also be forced to repay the costs of their case.

Under the new legal order, the police will now be able to release information and evidence on the activists to National Highways so that the injunctions can be enforced.

This will speed up the enforcement process and ensure that those who disobey the authority of the courts face the consequences, according to the Department for Transport.

Protesters blocked the routes in and out of the Port of Dover last month

Mr Shapps said: “We will continue to do all we can to prevent this self-defeating, disruptive and incredibly dangerous behaviour being carried out by Insulate Britain. They are putting lives in danger and damaging their own cause.”

He added: “Activists are being tracked down and served court papers and will now face justice. We will take the strongest action against anyone else who decides to take part in this ridiculous and irresponsible action.”

On Friday, activists sat on the road at Junction 3 of the M4 near Heathrow Airport, Junction 1 of the M1 at Brent Cross and Junction 25 of the M25 at Waltham Cross, north London.

This was the 10th day in the past three weeks that the group has carried out protests.

It has blocked motorways on nine days, while on September 24 it obstructed A roads near the Port of Dover in Kent.

Craig Scudder from Insulate Britain told the KentOnline Podcast why they keep blocking roads

There were 39 people arrested on suspicion of obstruction and conspiracy to commit public nuisance on Friday, the Metropolitan Police said.

Protests on the M4 and M1 began shortly after 8.30am and were cleared by 9am and 10am respectively.

The M25 demonstration started at around 10.30am, with some people gluing their hands to the road while others chained themselves together. They were cleared by 11.50am.

Drivers who were stuck in long queues beeped their horns in frustration.

National Highways regional director Nicola Bell described the new injunction as “another step forward in helping to keep these reckless and dangerous protests away from our network and endangering peoples’ lives”.

Climate change protesters held up traffic for a seventh time on the M25. Photo: Insulate Britain
Climate change protesters held up traffic for a seventh time on the M25. Photo: Insulate Britain

She added: “We continue to serve court papers on those who have breached the previous injunctions, and repeat offenders will soon be receiving a court summons. People who breach the injunctions face imprisonment or an unlimited fine.”

National Highways has already taken out two injunctions to prevent action along the M25 and on the major roads around the Port of Dover.

Ms Bell described these measures as a short-term solution to tackle the disruptive protests and said the Government is committed to legislating to prevent these tactics in the future through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

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