Home Breaking News M25 protests: Climate change activists cause rush hour chaos for fourth time

M25 protests: Climate change activists cause rush hour chaos for fourth time


Insulate Britain has called for the speed limit to be reduced on the M25 to keep protesters safe as they get set for another wave of blockades on the motorway throughout Monday

Police officers carry away a protester who had glued himself to the highway at a slip road of the A1(M) at Hatfield, Herts on Monday

Image: PA)

Police say 29 arrests have been made as climate change activists returned to their protest on the M25 during rush hour traffic.

Insulate Britain protestors have attempted to block major roads for the fourth time as they demand the government insulate every home in the UK, beginning with social housing.

Protesters have been gluing themselves to roads in Hertfordshire, on the outskirts of London, according to Hertfordshire Police.

Officers were called early Monday to reports of protestors glued to the carriageway near junction 18 at Chorleywood, the force said.

Thirteen people were arrested and the road has since partially reopened.

Police were also called to reports of protestors near junction 4 at Stanborough Interchange of the A1M, where 16 were arrested – the majority of whom were glued to the carriageway, Herts Police added.

Protesters from Insulate Britain attempt to blockade the M25 at junction 18 near Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire on Monday morning


Ben Cawthra/LNP)

Protest leaders had demanded authorities reduce traffic speeds to keep demonstrators safe as they resume their attempt to blockage major roads across the South East on Monday.

The group have threatened to continue with their demonstrations until the government commits to an insulation plan, as global gas prices soar sparking fears of a household energy affordability crisis.

But leaders have been accused of staging a dangerous protest, after it was claimed M25 delays left a mum paralysed by a stroke after the traffic blocks held back her trip to hospital by six hours.

Police speak to protestors crowding the roadside at the M25 junction near Rickmansworth, Herts, north of London


Ben Cawthra/LNP)

Herts Police tweeted: “Officers are at the scene and working to resolve the disruption as quickly as possible.”

A statement from Insulate Britain on Monday said its leaders had informed the Highways Agency and police the demonstration was set to resume at 7am.

A statement from the group on Sunday read: “Earlier today Insulate Britain wrote to the Highways Agency (now National Highways) and the relevant police forces, informing them that the campaign would continue, and specified that supporters would be on the M25 network on Monday, September 20 from 7am.

“Insulate Britain are asking the Highways Agency to review their previous decision not to reduce speed limits, even though they had been made aware that major disruption will be taking place.

“Given that this is a standard safety procedure when hazards occur on the motorway, Insulate Britain is surprised it has not formed part of the response to the campaign.”

Police officers speak to a protester at a slip road at Junction 18 of the M25, near Rickmansworth, Herts



In its letter, the group said it is “entirely proportionate to create disruption on the motorway network if it means the UK Government fulfils its legal obligation of staying below 2 degrees C which will stop the unimaginable suffering for future generations”.

The group has not revealed exactly where the protests will be taking place.

It has said its “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”.

Police watch a junction on the M25 near Cobham, Surrey – as Insulate Britain climate activists say they will return to their protest


Peter Macdiarmid/LNP)

It comes as the UK faces an energy bills crisis, with global wholesale gas prices soaring and the taxpayer warned it could foot some of the bill to keep energy firms from going bust.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng sought to quell fears over soaring prices as he held emergency talks with suppliers on Sunday amid concerns the rising costs will cause disruption to food supplies in the UK.

It is feared households won’t be fully shielded from the spike as OFGEM lifts energy tariff caps next month.

There are fears of an affordability crisis for heating homes, as the tariff rise comes in the same month as the special £20 a week uplift to universal credit will be axed, in the weeks after the government’s furlough scheme ends, and as colder weather draws in.

High global demand, maintenance issues and lower solar and wind energy output in Britain in recent months have been blamed for the surge in the lead-up to winter.

Police return to the roadside Monday morning as protesters from Insulate Britain crowd back to their M25 blockade


Ben Cawthra/LNP)

Tempers on the road flared last week as activists calling for insulation to keep Britain’s homes warm blocked motorists trying to use the major route.

Dozens were arrested last week as protests brought massive disruption to the South East road network.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is said to have told police to take “decisive” action to crack down on the protests after traffic was brought to a standstill, leaving motorists frustrated.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor previously said: “The actions of this group have significantly impacted the major road network around London.

“Removing individual protesters who have glued themselves to the road or locked themselves on to something is a complex and resource-intensive challenge and we must do this in a safe and effective way.

“It is our view that this behaviour is unsafe and irresponsible, creating risk for themselves, other road users and officers.”

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