A High Court injunction has been granted to prevent Transport for London (TfL) from disrupting traffic against protesters from climate action group Insulate Britain.
The capital’s transport network said on Friday that the ban was in place at 14 locations around the city, including some of its busiest roads.
It came as protesters blocked motorway junctions for the 12th time in the past four weeks as part of efforts to pressure the government to insulate all UK homes by 2030 to cut carbon emissions.
Insulate Britain activists said around 40 protesters were involved in blocking the junction of the M25 motorway and the A501 at London’s Old Street intersection on the last working day of the week, leading to long traffic lines and anger with drivers.
“The safety of people traveling on the capital’s roads is our first priority,” a TfL spokesperson said.
“We have been given an injunction by the High Court this afternoon which bars the protesters from indulging in activities obstructing traffic at 14 places.
“This will help protect London’s road network and everyone who uses it.”
He said: “We will continue to work closely with the police and other highway authorities in London to manage the impact on the road network, and encourage people to check their travels before they travel.”
A spokesman for London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday he supported the move to prevent further protests, arguing that the injunction would help keep the capital’s road network “safe”.
“The mayor absolutely believes in the right to protest, but it should always be done peacefully, safely and within the law,” he said.
Those breaking the order can be found in contempt of court, but prosecution usually takes several months, meaning there is no immediate effect on the protest.
The Metropolitan Police said it arrested 16 people suspected of obstructing the highway at Friday’s motorway protest – in which protesters affixed themselves to the carriageway – and 19 at the Old Street roundabout.
Previous injunctions for the M25 and the Port of Dover last month have failed to deter demonstrators, while Insulate Britain has acknowledged its action is a “violation” of the orders.
“If governments don’t act soon to reduce emissions, we face a dire situation,” said Tracy Mallagan, a spokeswoman for the group.
“We wouldn’t worry about a shortage of pasta or loo rolls because law and order breaks down very quickly when there isn’t enough food to go around.”
PA. Additional reporting by
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /