Londoners face traffic mayhem this weekend with M25 protest chaos

·2-min read
Police speaking to one another as protesters block an M25 junction (PA Media)
Police speaking to one another as protesters block an M25 junction (PA Media)

Londoners trying to escape the capital for a late summer staycation could face chaos on the roads after another day of M25 protests.

Fears of mayhem on London’s busiest motorway this weekend were growing as sunshine scorched the south of England with highs of 23C on Friday.

It came after another day of action by the protest group Insulate Britain which saw 24 activists arrested as they brought the M25 to a standstill to highlight their climate cause.

The AA’s president Edmund King has warned more road-blocking could follow with motorists “bearing the brunt” while “trying to get on with their lives”.

He told the Standard: “Their action was incredibly dangerous earlier in the week and today it is once again putting lives at risk, causing more emissions and annoying the working public trying to get on with their lives.

“Many people agree that we should take more action on climate change, but it is the public that are bearing the brunt of these road-blocking tactics which in turn just alienates the public.

“These tactics are backfiring. Essential deliveries, emergency services, people missing hospital and work appointments are all hit by these blockades.

“These illegal blockades have now spread to include wanton vandalism and criminal damage by protestors painting some roads blue. Thankfully the police are taking swift action to get these key routes moving again.”

The protestors were causing disruption to draw attention to the lack of government action over what they say is 29 million “energy inefficient” homes across the UK.

A statement on Insulate Britain’s website reads: “Actions will continue until the Government makes a meaningful commitment to insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030, which are among the oldest and most energy inefficient in Europe.”

They have demanded the government insulate all homes in Britain by 2025, starting with social housing.

Insulate Britain said 79 people attempted to block the London orbital motorway hours after their release from police custody following similar protests on Wednesday.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter: “We all agree that climate change must be tackled, but this sort of behaviour achieves nothing, puts drivers at risk and INCREASES pollution.”

He added: “I expect the police to take swift action to clear the roads.”

Junctions three, at Swanley in Kent, nine, at Leatherhead in Surrey, and 28, near Brentwood in Essex, were targeted.

A Surrey Police spokesperson said: “We were made aware of protesters at junction 9 of the M25 earlier this morning.

“Fourteen people have been arrested. We were also made aware shortly after 9am of protesters at junction 1 of the M3. We are on the scene and arrests are being made. Further updates to follow.”

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