M25 protests: New injunction against climate activists blocking key roads
A fresh injunction has been granted to target climate activists, who cause disruption on any of the highways on the Strategic Road Network linked to the M25 in the South East.
The new injunction, taken out by the UK Government and granted by National Highways, bans activities that obstruct traffic and access to motorways and major A Roads in and around London.
It also bans activities which cause damage to the road surface and infrastructure and prohibits activists from gluing themselves to the road or abandoning their vehicles.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We will continue to do all we can to prevent this self-defeating, disruptive and incredibly dangerous behaviour being carried out by Insulate Britain. They are putting lives in danger and damaging their own cause.
“Today, we’re ensuring every major road and motorway linked to the M25 is covered by this injunction to help prevent further disruption.
“Activists are being tracked down and served court papers and will now face justice. We will take the strongest action against anyone else who decides to take part in this ridiculous and irresponsible action.”
Anyone who breaks this injunction faces imprisonment or an unlimited fine. Activists found in contempt of court may also be forced to repay the costs of their case.
Police will now be able to release information on the activists, as well as evidence, to National Highways so that the injunctions can be enforced.
"This will speed up the enforcement process and ensure that those who disobey the authority of the courts face the consequences," a government spokesperson said.
"A number of activists have already been served with court papers and may face a court hearing and imprisonment or a fine for contempt of court if they are found to be in breach of the injunctions going forward."
National Highways has already taken out two injunctions to prevent action along the M25, as well as major roads around the Port of Dover, 'following the dangerous disruption' caused by demonstrators from Insulate Britain.
National Highways regional director Nicola Bell said: "This new injunction covering the Strategic Road Network in and around London is another step forward in helping to keep these reckless and dangerous protests away from our network and endangering peoples' lives.
"We continue to serve court papers on those who have breached the previous injunctions, and repeat offenders will soon be receiving a court summons. People who breach the injunctions face imprisonment or an unlimited fine."
These injunctions have been described as a 'short-term solution' to tackle the 'highly disruptive' protests.
The spokesperson added: "The Government has committed to legislating to prevent these kinds of guerrilla tactics in the long-term through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill."