Protesters banned from causing havoc on M25 as measures force them to keep roads clear for drivers

Protesters banned from causing havoc on M25 as measures force them to keep roads clear for drivers

WATCH: ‘It’s not fair!’ Bev Turner in furious clash with Just Stop Oil

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 11/04/2024

- 10:11

Injunction prevents protestors from blocking or obstructing major motorway

Protesters who disrupt travel on busy motorways could now face harsher punishments as National Highways fights to keep roads clear.

The Government agency obtained an injunction which prevents protestors from obstructing major roads which includes the M25.

Through police measures, those who protest could risk imprisonment, an unlimited fine or have their assets seized.

It follows the Serious Disruption Prevention Orders which were introduced as part of the Public Order Act 2023.

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M25 traffic

M25 traffic on motorway

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The Act which was passed last year, aims to help protect the public from disruptions caused by protest groups.

The injunction however, targets disruptions on the M25, the M25 feeder roads and major roads in Kent and around the Port of Dover.

According to court documents, it prevents protesters from: “Blocking or endangering, or preventing the free flow of traffic on the roads for the purposes of protesting by any means including their presence on the roads.

“Affixing themselves to the roads or any object or person, abandoning any object, erecting any structure on the roads or otherwise causing, assisting, facilitating or encouraging any of those matters.”

The preventative measures were first issued in 2022, with National Highways now looking to extend this with a hearing scheduled for April 26 to help keep traffic moving.

The agency said: “Where a member of public is protesting at height over a motorway or other similar arterial route, the decision to close the road is based on a range of factors, with public safety being the most important.

“Both police and National Highways traffic officers have powers to close roads.

“Following an incident, our traffic officers will work with the police to re-open the road as soon as possible, after making sure all affected infrastructure, such as gantries, are undamaged and safe.”

Earlier this year, a Just Stop Oil protestor who prevented cars from being able to use the M25 was sentenced under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

The protestor caused mass delays to drivers travelling to Heathrow after scaling the M25's gantry which forced cars to halt.

She was found guilty of causing public nuisance and for delaying 3,923 British Airways passengers’ journeys.

National Highways added: “We’re working with the police to keep disruption to the public to a minimum. Millions of people rely on the strategic road network every day and they have a right to expect it to operate as it should.



Extension of injunction scheduled for April 26 to help keep traffic moving


“Our primary concern is always safety. Protesting on our network is extremely dangerous, both for motorists and for the protesters themselves.”

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