Insulate Britain protesters back on M25 as they block major roads for 13th time

Protesters from Insulate Britain blocking the M25 on Wednesday. Credit: Insulate Britain/PA

Insulate Britain campaigners were back on the M25 on Wednesday morning, in their 13th time blocking major roads.

Around 20 protesters disrupted the traffic at the junction to London Road A1090 near the Dartford Crossing, despite an injunction banning them from doing so.

The group forced multiple vehicles, including lorries, to stop and turn around near a busy industrial estate in Essex prompting angry crashes between drivers and protesters from around 8.30am.

Some protesters had glued themselves to the carriageway, causing long queues of cars.

The group is calling for urgent action from the government to insulate all of Britain’s homes, starting with the homes of the poorest people in the country, to tackle the climate crisis.

A woman from the environmental group was nearly run over by a driver, who told her: "This is stupidity".

Around 20 protesters blocked the junction to St Clements Way and London Road, in Thurrock Credit: Insulate Britain

Other protesters were seen in videos posted online being dragged out of the road, but they immediately returned, only to be dragged away again by frustrated drivers.

Some drivers blasted their horns and got out of their cars to confront protesters, who were laid down on the road, and rip banners from their hands.

One mother berated Insulate Britain activists for stopping her from driving her 11-year-old son to school.

In one video, the woman is seen getting out of her black Range Rover and telling demonstrators: “Move out of the f****** way, my son needs to get to school.

“I don’t care what the f****** issue is. My son is 11 and he needs to get to school today, so move out of the way and let me get him to school.”

Protesters from Insulate Britain blocking the M25 at junction 31, near to the Dartford Crossing in Thurrock, Essex Credit: Insulate Britain

One lorry driver warned the protests could worsen the petrol crisis as tankers will be unable to get to filling stations.

One driver told LBC news: “If this protest stays here for much longer, I’m afraid the night shift driver will not be able to deliver fuel for any garages or anyone.

“So talking about lorry driver shortages and fuel shortages, today it may get worse. This is a hotspot.

“We also deliver to commercials, bus garages, train depots, which are all essential for transport.”

Delivery driver Robert J Foulger, 57, said: “There were nine police vehicles there and countless officers not out catching criminals, costing the taxpayer money.

“I took pictures whilst sitting in traffic trying to deliver fresh produce to a supermarket distribution centre.

“I was on the moving side of traffic so didn’t wait long, luckily.”

Insulate Britain protestors glued to the road at the slip road of the M25 in Thurrock, Essex. Credit: Robert J Foulger

Essex Police said it had arrested 35 people in total. 16 were arrested at Junction 31 of the M25 and 19 were arrested in Stonehouse Lane in Purfleet.

The force said it received reports of the disruption shortly after 8.25am and officers "were at the scene within five minutes".

All roads are now open.

Traffic caused by the Insulate Britain protest at the slip road of the M25 in Thurrock, Essex. Credit: Robert J Foulger

For the past few weeks, Insulate Britain, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, has been blocking motorways and A-roads around London, including the M25 and M4, to call for more action on climate change.

They are calling on the government to insulate all of Britain’s homes, starting with the homes of the poorest people in the country.

National Highways were granted three injunctions banning the demonstrations on the M25, around the Port of Dover and on major roads around London.

At a second public High Court hearing on Tuesday, the three injunctions were extended until November 30.

A fourth injunction was granted to Transport for London (TfL) on October 8.

Members of the group were seen burning the court orders outside the High Court on Tuesday.

Members of Insulate Britain burnt court orders outside the Royal Courts of Justice Credit: PA

Despite the arrests and angry responses from drivers, the group said members of the public have been supportive.

Dr Diana Warner, an Insulate Britain supporter, said: “Many people are going out of their way to thank us. Some come out of their cars to thank us, some are police officers involved with our arrests.

“To them, we bring hope – we haven’t yet given up. We are still pushing for life-saving changes.”