Thirty-six arrests after climate change protesters block parts of M25 for second time in three days

Thirty-six climate change protesters have been arrested after parts of the M25 were blocked off by activists for the second time in three days, causing huge queues of traffic. Protesters from Insulate

Thirty-six arrests after climate change protesters block parts of M25 for second time in three days

Thirty-six climate change protesters have been arrested after parts of the M25 were blocked off by activists for the second time in three days, causing huge queues of traffic.

Protesters from Insulate Britain, which included an 82-year-old man, brought traffic to a halt at several sections of Britain's busiest motorway on Wednesday morning.

The demonstrators targeted Junction 23 for South Mimms in Hertfordshire, as well as the main carriageway from Junction 8 at Reigate to Junction 9 at Leatherhead, both in Surrey.

Surrey Police said it had arrested 25 people after attending Junction 8 and 10 of the M25, overseeing a protest which was reported at around 8am.

The force added it was also dealing with a road traffic collision at Junction 9 of the M25 involving four vehicles. Police, fire service and ambulances are currently on the scene.

"We have been working with partner forces including Metropolitan Police and Hertfordshire Police to deal with widespread protesters on the M25. All protesters have now been cleared from both Junction 8 and 10," the force said.

"A total of 25 arrests have been made."

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It advised motorists to avoid the area if possible.

Separately, the Metropolitan Police said it had deployed many officers to different locations and supported colleagues from other forces who have also responded, and had made a further 11 arrests.

The environmental group is demanding government action on home insulation, tweeting: "#InsulateBritain are back. @BorisJohnson can you hear us yet?"

Local news media reported that Princes Road in Dartford, Kent, is partially blocked with queuing traffic due to a demonstration on the roundabout at Junction 1B of the motorway, causing congestion on the approach to the busy Dartford Crossing.

Demonstrators group together on the motorway
Image: Demonstrators group together on the motorway

One Twitter user, Phillip Marvel, observing a blockage near the crossing, said the protesters were "at it again", adding: "Children stuck on school buses, ambulances can't get through. This is not helping their cause."

Videos circulating on social media show angry drivers arguing with the activists.

An aerial shot of the huge traffic queues on the M25 due to the protests
Image: An aerial shot of the huge traffic queues on the M25 due to the protests

Edmund King, president of motoring insurance group AA, Edmund King a thermal insulation engineer was prevented from going to work after being stuck in the traffic queue during Wednesday's blockade.

He said: "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.

"It is somewhat ironic that thermal insulation engineers trying to insulate Britain were stuck in the congestion caused by Insulate Britain."

He added: "Essential deliveries, emergency services, people missing hospital and business appointments are all hit by these blockades. Hopefully the police will take immediate action to unblock the arteries of Britain."

Protesters delay traffic at a roundabout on the M25. Pic: Insulate Britain
Image: Protesters delay traffic at a roundabout on the M25. Pic: Insulate Britain

Insulate Britain said 89 of its members took part in the action on Wednesday, adding in a statement: "We demand credible action now.

"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.

Demonstrators sat in the middle of the motorway
Image: Demonstrators sat in the middle of the motorway

"It is a total no-brainer and yet this government refuses to get on with the job. This is criminal negligence."

The group tweeted that one of Wednesday's activists included an 82-year-old man "with a severe heart condition".

On Monday, the group blocked off five junctions of the M25 with another demonstration, resulting in tens of thousands of drivers being stuck in huge queues of traffic and some 78 people arrested.