TfL takes out injunction against eco protesters as M25 chaos continues

8 October 2021, 18:41 | Updated: 8 October 2021, 19:28

Protesters returned to the roads on Friday.
Protesters returned to the roads on Friday. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Transport for London (TfL) has taken out an injunction against eco protesters after they blockaded the M25 again on Friday.

The company obtained a High Court injunction to ban Insulate Britain protesters from obstructing traffic at 14 locations around London.

The injunction applies to: Hanger Lane, Vauxhall Bridge, the Hammersmith gyratory system, Blackwall Tunnel, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Park Lane including Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner, Elephant and Castle including all entry and exit roads, the Victoria one-way system, the A501 ring road from Edgware Road to Old Street, Staples Corner, Chiswick roundabout, Redbridge roundabout and the Kidbrooke interchange.

A TfL spokesperson said: "The safety of people travelling on the capital's roads is our number one priority.

"We have been granted an injunction this afternoon by the High Court which bans protesters from engaging in activities that obstruct traffic at 14 locations. This will help to protect London's road network and everybody using it.

"We will continue to work closely with the police and other highway authorities in London to manage the impact on the road network and would encourage people to check their journeys before they travel."

Read more: Furious mum blasts ‘selfish’ eco-mob for making daughter late to school

Read more: Eco-mob's M25 protests opposed by almost three quarters of Brits, YouGov poll finds

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan supported the move, with his spokesperson adding: "The Mayor passionately believes in the right to protest, but it must always be done peacefully, safely and within the law.

"We are pleased that TfL has been granted an injunction which bans protesters from engaging in activities that obstruct traffic at 14 locations.

"This will help keep London's road network safe and everybody using it."

People who break injunctions can be found to be in contempt of court, but prosecutions usually take several months, meaning there is no immediate impact on the protests.

Three previous injunctions do not seem to have deterred the protesters.

The legal action comes after protesters blocked motorway junctions for the 12th time in the past four weeks on Friday, causing emotional clashes with motorists.

Insulate Britain activists said about 40 demonstrators were involved in blocking the junction of the M25 motorway and the A501 at Old Street roundabout at rush hour on the last working day of the week, prompting long queues of traffic.

One furious mum was filmed shouting at the group as they blocked the M25, calling them "a disgrace" for making her daughter late to school and "messing with children's education".

The angry motorist was just one of thousands of drivers held up in queues during the rush-hour.

Read more: Eco mob target Old Street and M25 in latest disruptive rush hour protest

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps branded members of Insulate Britain "glued fools" and said he had been "applying actively" for more injunctions.

He told LBC's Nick Ferrari: "It's dangerous, it's really outrageous, and actually, ironically, it probably adds to pollution as cars idle, waiting for their nonsense ... for them to be unglued from the road.

"Existing laws need toughening up to get these glued fools off the road and the Home Secretary has said she will do that in the Crime and Sentencing Policing Bill that is going through Parliament.

"In the meantime, I have been applying actively for court injunctions, which cover the national highway network around London, around the South East. Now these people can go to jail for what they're doing.

"I very much imagine that the courts will take very dimly of the view that they're ignoring a court injunction. It can be unlimited fines, it can be six months in jail. We have been actively serving door-to-door individuals - over 100 have been served.

"I think we'll start to see the courts take a very, very dim view and lock some of these people up, it is unacceptable.

"I can tell you that those injunctions may well have been breached and people may be going to prison as a result."