Climate protests and multi-vehicle crash bring parts of M25 grinding to a halt again

Video from Twitter/@SaraHealy82

Climate protesters blocked parts of the M25 for the second time in three days on Wednesday as police dealt separately with a crash where a woman was airlifted to hospital.

71 people were arrested after campaign group 'Insulate Britain', stopped traffic at two sections of Britain’s busiest motorway.

They targeted Junction 23 for South Mimms in Hertfordshire and the main carriageway from Junction 8 at Reigate to Junction 9 at Leatherhead, both in Surrey.

Videos posted on social media show angry drivers confronting activists.

Insulate Britain said 89 of its members took part in the action on Wednesday.

It said in a statement: “We demand credible action now.

“Proper jobs for hundreds of thousands of people to start the first real step – to insulate all the homes of this country – which pound for pound gives us the biggest reduction in carbon emissions.

“It is a total no-brainer and yet this Government refuses to get on with the job. This is criminal negligence.”

Surrey Police said officers were also dealing with a crash involving four vehicles on the M25 near the protests.

"We were called to a road traffic collision involving four vehicles on the anti-clockwise carriageway at Junction 9 of the M25, at around 9am this morning," the force said.

"Police, fire service and ambulance are on the scene and a 50-year-old woman has been airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

"One of the lanes of the carriageway has since been re-opened and we are working with Highways England to open the rest of the road.

"The investigation into the circumstances of the collision remains ongoing," the force added.

Edmund King, president of motoring insurance group AA, said that during the last Insulate Britain blockade, a thermal insulation engineer was prevented from going to work after being stuck in the traffic queue.

On Wednesday, he said: “Whilst most people understand the need to take action on climate change, these motorway blockade tactics are just backfiring as they are alienating the working public stuck in this chaos and subsequently pumping out more emissions.

“It is somewhat ironic that thermal insulation engineers trying to insulate Britain were stuck in the congestion caused by Insulate Britain.

“Essential deliveries, emergency services, people missing hospital and business appointments are all hit by these blockades.

“Hopefully the police will take immediate action to unblock the arteries of Britain.”

Credit: Leo Farmer/PA

A demonstration by the same group on Monday saw five junctions of the M25 blocked, leading to tens of thousands of drivers being stuck in huge queues of traffic.