Government takes out fresh injunction against M25 eco protesters

2 October 2021, 23:42

Another injunction has been granted against eco protesters on the M25
Another injunction has been granted against eco protesters on the M25. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The Government has taken out another injunction against eco protesters in a bid to stop them blocking major roads in south-east England.

The new injunction bans protesters from Insulate Britain from obstructing traffic and access to motorways and major A Roads in and around London.

It states the activists must not cause damage to the road surface and infrastructure - and also bans them from using tactics like gluing themselves to the road or abandoning their vehicles.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: "I asked [National Highways] to seek a wider injunction covering major roads in SE England.

"Senseless activists have continued to disrupt the network, but the High Court has now granted wider injunction meaning protestors will be in contempt of court, face unlimited fines or prison."

Read more: Eco protesters blockade M25 yet again, defying threats of jail time

Read more: 53 Insulate Britain eco-protesters released by police as govt slams ‘guerrilla tactics’

Anyone who breaks the injunction faces imprisonment or an unlimited fine, and activists found in contempt of court may also be forced to repay the costs of their case.

Under the new legal order, the police will be able to release information and evidence on the activists 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, according to the Department for Transport.

Mr 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."

He added: "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."

Read more: Eco protesters defy jail threat and block M25 junction for second time on same day

National Highways regional director Nicola Bell described the new injunction as "another step forward in helping to keep these reckless and dangerous protests away from our network and endangering peoples' lives".

She added: "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."

National Highways previously took out two injunctions to prevent action along the M25, as well as major roads around the Port of Dover, following disruption by Insulate Britain.

Ms Bell described these measures as a short-term solution to tackle the disruptive protests and said the Government is committed to legislating to prevent these tactics in the future through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

On Friday, activists sat on the road at Junction 3 of the M4 near Heathrow Airport, west London, Junction 1 of the M1 at Brent Cross, north London, and Junction 25 of the M25 at Waltham Cross, north London.

It was the 10th day in the past three weeks that the group carried out protests.