Climate campaigners blockade four bridges in central London

15 April 2022, 15:11 | Updated: 15 April 2022, 15:47

Extinction Rebellion blocked traffic in central London today
Extinction Rebellion blocked traffic in central London today. Picture: XR

By Asher McShane

Four London bridges have been forced to close by Extinction Rebellion climate activists who formed human barriers, blocking traffic and bringing delays to the capital.

Eco protesters lined the roads outside Blackfriars, Westminster, Waterloo and Lambeth bridges causing "delays and disruption" to people in central London.

The Met police said: "We are aware of a number of demonstrations happening today.

"We are seeing pockets of protest which are causing delays and disruption across central London. A policing operation is in place and officers are on scene and working to manage the impact."

Read more: Dozens of arrests as eco-protesters stage protests at oil plants in Essex and Birmingham

Extinction Rebellion posted online: "Rebels are swarming across London, part of a global wave of civil disobedience as people wake up to the fact that our leaders are failing to tackle the climate crisis.

"They promise Build Back Better but all they do is pour oil on the fire."

AA’s live traffic feed showed severe delays around Blackfriars, Westminster and Lambeth, on the route to busy hospital's in the capital.

It marks exactly three years since the start of XR’s first major demonstration.

It comes after dozens of arrests were made after climate protesters targeted three oil terminals.

The activists say they arrived in the early hours of Friday at the Kingsbury terminal near Tamworth, Staffordshire, as well as the Navigator Oil terminal in Thurrock and Grays oil terminal, both in Essex.

Pictures from Just Stop Oil, a group of climate activists affiliated with Extinction Rebellion, show people in orange hi-vis jackets on top of oil tankers and blockading roads, while holding signs.

Warwickshire Police said 12 arrests had been made on Friday morning, while officers were also at the scene in Essex.

Valero Energy was granted an injunction against a number of environmental groups and "persons unknown" earlier this week following recent protests at the Kingsbury terminal.

It bans anyone from damaging any part of the land at each of the firm's sites, from "affixing themselves to any other person or object" on the land or parts of access roads, and from building any structure.

Valero also owns and operates sites in Manchester, Cardiff, Plymouth and Avonmouth.

Activists from Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion have been blocking access to oil terminals, demanding that the Government stops new oil and gas projects.

A dozen activists are said to be at the scene in Tamworth and have locked themselves on to pipes, while roadblocks and "tanker-surfing" has taken place at the sites in Essex.

Warwickshire Police said: "Officers remain at Kingsbury Oil Terminal today and are currently dealing with protest activity after a number of protesters arrived overnight.

"There is minimal impact to the wider community at this time."

This story is being updated