Activists bar M25 junctions protesting government’s policy: Numerous of motorists were held up in major traffic jams at the junctions of M25 early on Sunday morning, due to climate protests managed by the campaign group Insulate Britain.
The group set up the series of demonstrations demanding that the government insulates each British home by 2025.
Due to the interruption, a few drivers were reported to have tried dragging some activists off the blocked roads.
Reports stated that about 30 protestors were arrested on suspicion of highways obstruction.
Zoe Cohen, member of the Insulate Britain’s activists, stated: “What we are highlighting is that we are in a code red climate emergency. What we need to see with this campaign we are demanding is for the government to insulate & retrofit all our homes in this country because it is the most effective way to spend money on decarbonisation.
“It’s a really efficient, cost efficient thing to do. It takes millions of people out of fuel poverty because at the moment we have 1-in-10 households having to choose between food & fuel.”
The government has previously pledged £1.3b to back energy efficiency actions. Ms Cohen remarked that is a “minuscule” amount.
Meanwhile, several drivers complained on Twitter regarding the protest. Ms Cohen said the action was liable to upset M25 drivers: “We want to apologise, we are very sorry that this is causing disruption. We don’t like doing it, but we honestly feel we have no choice. Politicians, unfortunately, don’t listen or take any action without causing any disruption.
“We are peacefully just sitting there in a very vulnerable way. We are using our bodies, because frankly, it’s all we have got left to protest with, everything else has been tried here.”
Essex Police said it arrested 12 people following the M25 incident. They answered a call right before 8.15am that morning advising that a bunch of people were obstructing the road next to Junction 31.
Chief Inspector Paul Austin stated: “This incident caused significant disruption & our officers worked to resolve it as quickly & safely as possible. I want to thank the drivers affected for their patience & understanding.”
The activist said she is not shocked regarding the arrests: “We expect the police to arrest us. We expect that as we are accountable for our actions, we are not trying to avoid arrest.”
The AA president, Edmund King, announced: “This action is not only incredibly dangerous in potentially putting lives at risk but it also backfires in environmental terms by causing more delays & more vehicle emissions.
“These are some of the busiest sections of the M25 where tens of thousands of drivers will have been affected & has a negative knock on effect on economic activity.”
A government authority stated: “People’s day to day lives should not be disrupted, especially on busy motorways where lives are put at risk & resulting traffic delays will only add to vehicle emissions.
“We are investing £1.3b this year alone to support people to install energy efficiency measures & our upcoming Heat & Buildings Strategy will set out how we decarbonise the nation’s homes in a way that is fair, practical & affordable.”
Activists bar M25 junctions protesting government’s policy