Just Stop Oil: major delays on M25 and at Dartford crossing as activists return for second day

Just Stop Oil: major delays on M25 and at Dartford crossing as activists return for second day

J

ust Stop Oil protesters have returned to the M25 and Dartford crossing as one other morning of chaos looms for London commuters on Tuesday.

Around 15 activists scaled overhead metallic buildings at a number of junctions on the motorway at about 7am, with one protester climbing a gantry on the north-bound lane of the M25 at the Dartford crossing.

The Dartford tunnel was shut from around 7.30am however reopened shortly beore 9am, although traffic was left tailing again for six miles.

Officers from Hertfordshire Police, Essex Police and Surrey Police remained at varied places around the M25, coping with other protests. At least three activists have been arrested.

Matt Twist, assistant commissioner in Met Operations at the Met Police, slammed the “irresponsible action” saying it will “bring misery to thousands of commuters and businesses”.

As of about 9am, the M25 was closed in both instructions beteen junctions 7 and 9, junctions 12 and 13, and junctions 15 to 16.

It was additionally shut anticlockwise between junctions 21 and 20, and junctions 27 to 26.

National Highways said: “There are long delays approaching all of the closure points. Road users may wish to reroute or even delays their journey.

“Due to the nature of the incident, we are not able to advise when the road will reopen.”

Surrey Police confirmed shortly before 9am that traffic would quickly start transferring between junction 7at Merstham and junction 8 at Reigate, after an activist was introduced down from a gantry and arrested.

Kent Police added that it arrested two protesters at junction 1b.

Hertfordshire Police said on Twitter shortly before 7.30am: “Officers are on scene and dealing with protesters who have climbed on to motorway gantries between J8-9 and J12-13 along the M25 this morning. Traffic is currently stopped in both directions at these junctions. Thanks for your patience, we’ll update as soon as possible.”

Essex Police added at 7.45am: “We are currently on scene at the north-bound track of the M25 at the Dartford River Crossing where a protester has climbed on to the gantry at junction 31. Dartford tunnel and two lanes are closed. We are working as quickly as we can to keep you moving.”

Activists focused gantries between junctions 7 and 8, junctions 8 and 9, and junctions 12 and 13, police said.

Just Stop Oil said in a statement: “From 7am, approximately 15 supporters of Just Stop Oil climbed onto the overhead gantries of the M25 in multiple locations, both clockwise and anti-clockwise causing police to halt traffic.”

In a video posted on Twitter, Just Stop Oil activist Charlotte Kirin from Bury St Edmunds, who was atop a gantry at junction 31 on the M25 on Tuesday morning, explained her motivations.

“I’m a parent, a social worker, a carer for my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, and I’m on a gantry at junction 31 northbound of the M25, supporting Just Stop Oil’s demands for no new oil and gas licences and a fair transition to sustainable energy so that we can all have a future,” the 53-year-old said.

National Highways warned drivers on the M25 to expect prolonged delays.

It said: “South-East@HighwaysSEASTTraffic is being held northbound at the #A282 #DartfordCrossing due to an @EssexPoliceUK led incident. There are delays of 60 minutes and 5 miles of congestion on the approach. Road users may wish to reroute or delay their journey.”

The protest comes after comparable motion on Monday, which noticed at least 23 Just Stop Oil protesters climb gantries at M25 junctions in London, Surrey, Essex and Kent, inflicting traffic chaos.

The activist group has been finishing up common protests – together with each day motion all through October – as it calls for the Government to halt all new oil and fuel licences.

Source:standard.co.uk

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