Just Stop Oil cause more chaos as they climb M25 gantries for fourth time on Tube strike day

10 November 2022, 07:49 | Updated: 10 November 2022, 12:04

Just Stop Oil is holding up the M25 for a fourth day in a row
Just Stop Oil is holding up the M25 for a fourth day in a row. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Daisy Stephens

Just Stop Oil have climbed overhead gantries on the M25 for the fourth day in a row, causing travel chaos for commuters.

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The motorway was closed in a number of locations.

Traffic was blocked both ways between junction 15-16 and at junction 25 in Hertfordshire, between junctions 7 and 8 in Surrey, and at junction 28 in Enfield.

The closures have since reopened and at least four people have been arrested.

Meanwhile planned protests have been foiled at other locations along the motorway, with Essex Police saying a woman was arrested whilst "attempting to climb a gantry".

The force said one lane had to be closed at junction 28 for a short while but was now open, although there is still residual disruption.

Read more: Arrest of LBC's Charlotte Lynch at scene of eco-protest 'in retrospect not necessary,' police admit

Read more: Ex-Met officer says the arrest of LBC journalist at eco-protest makes him 'shake with anger'

The impact of protests is even worse on Thursday because roads were already busier than normal as a result of Tube strikes.

Nine out of 11 London Underground lines were shut down on Thursday morning, according to Transport for London's (TfL) website.

The motorway is blocked in several places
The motorway is blocked in several places. Picture: Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil have staged disruptive protests on the M25 every day this week.

On Wednesday a police officer was injured when two lorries and a police motorbike crashed as a roadblock was set up - something the eco group admitted was "awful".

Read more: Nightmare on the M25: Unrepentant eco-activists cause rush hour chaos by blocking motorway for the second day

Watch: 'We'll win in the end': Eco activist likens road protests to Suffragettes as he defends blocking M25

And on Tuesday, Hertfordshire Police sparked outrage when they arrested LBC reporter Charlotte Lynch whilst she was covering the protests.

She was searched twice and held in a police cell for five hours, despite showing the officers her formal press identification card.

Protesters have climbed overhead gantries on the M25
Protesters have climbed overhead gantries on the M25. Picture: Just Stop Oil

Home Secretary Suella Braverman yesterday accused police officers of letting eco activists get "out of control".

In a rare move to criticise the way officers are dealing with an ongoing situation, she told a major police conference in London she expected a "firmer line to safeguard public order".

In her speech, the Home Secretary labelled those taking part as "extremists" who cause criminal damage, and 'serious disruptions to the lives of innocent people.

She said: “There is a bit of a hesitation within police right now to take action. Events today show this is out of control.

Read more: 'You'll hate me' teary activist tells motorists as eco zealots grind M25 to a halt

Read more: 'She shouldn't be arrested for doing her job': Minister blasts cops who nicked LBC reporter covering Just Stop Oil

"Although most police officers do an excellent job, sadly, in recent months and years we have seen an erosion of confidence in the police to take action against the radicals, the road-blockers, the vandals, the militants and the extremists.

"But we have also seen the police appear to lose confidence in themselves – in yourselves, in your authority, in your power – an institutional reluctance. This must change.

"Criminal damage, obstructing the highway, public nuisance – none of it should be humoured. It is not a human right to vandalise a work of art. It is not a civil liberty to stop ambulances getting to the sick and injured. Scenes of members of the public taking the law into their own hands are a sign of a loss of confidence and I urge you all to step up to your public duties."

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