Climate protesters arrested after blocking M25 junctions in rush hour
Insulate Britain protesters call for overhaul of home insulation as demonstration causes delays
Dozens of environmental protesters have been arrested after they blocked junctions off London’s orbital motorway during the morning rush hour causing long delays.
Members of the protest group Insulate Britain, which calls for the UK government to fully fund an overhaul of insulation of all homes in Britain by 2030, blocked the M25 at a number of junctions, clashing with motorists.
Surrey police said 36 protesters were arrested at junctions 6 and 14. Essex police said they made 12 arrests at junction 31, while Kent police arrested the same number of people at junction 3.
The Metropolitan police said they arrested 14 people for highway obstruction at junction 14 and were working with colleagues at Heathrow to establish what impact the protest had on the airport.
At junction 20, Kings Langley interchange in Hertfordshire, one driver was filmed trying to drag a protester from the road after exiting his vehicle.
The man is heard shouting “get out the fucking way” as he roughly handles one of the protesters, who were all dressed in orange hi-vis vests and holding branded banners.
A statement from Insulate Britain said: “During rush hour today motorway traffic on the M25 was brought to a standstill by campaigners from Insulate Britain, a new group demanding that the government gets on with the job of insulating Britain’s homes.
“Insulate Britain says today’s disruption is just the start. Actions will continue until the government makes a meaningful commitment to insulate Britain’s 29m leaky homes, some of the oldest and most energy-inefficient in Europe.”
The group said its demands were delivered by hand to 10 Downing Street on 21 August 2021 but so far the UK government had not responded.
Police forces for Surrey, Kent and Hertfordshire advised motorists to plan journeys around the disruption and avoid the area if possible as they attempted to bring the protests to a conclusion.
One supporter, Liam Norton, a 36-year-old electrician from London, said he was “shocked at the lack of significant action from our government”.
He said: “It’s a no brainer. Insulating Britain will reduce emissions, provide hundreds of thousands of jobs and stop our elderly dying in cold homes each winter. So stop messing about, Boris, and get on with the job.
“As soon as a statement is made that we can trust and is meaningful, we will get off the roads.”
The AA president, Edmund King, said: “This action is not only incredibly dangerous in potentially putting lives at risk but it also backfires in environmental terms by causing more delays and more vehicle emissions.
“These are some of the busiest sections of the M25 where tens of thousands of drivers will have been affected and has a negative knock-on effect on economic activity.”