Insulate Britain criticised by delayed M4 motorist
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Insulate Britain have been causing major disruptions to commuters across the M4, M1, and M25 for over ten days. Seething drivers have reacted with fury at the activists, whose stunts include rushing into the motorway to block traffic. One driver forced to a halt on the M4 at Junction 3 insisted he is sympathetic with the group but demanded they “sit outside of Parliament” to protest the lack of action on climate change rather than disrupt the commute of everyday Britons.
Asked whether the M4 blockade would disrupt his day, the man told LBC: “Yeah, absolutely, And everyone else’s. I’m f****ng fuming.”
He continued: “Look at them, just staring. They’re goldfish.
“I’m trying to get to London, like everyone else here. I understand what they’re doing but this isn’t the way to do it.
“Absolutely not the way to do it. Sit outside Parliament.”
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He added: “I just said to that chap there I hope he forgives himself if someone needs to go to hospital.”
Insulate Britain said around 30 of its activists have blocked roundabouts at Junction 3 of the M4 near Heathrow Airport, west London, and Junction 1 of the M1 at Brent Cross, north London.
Drivers stuck in long queues of traffic beeped their horns in frustration.
Insulate Britain said the demonstrators include eight people released from police custody on Thursday after blocking the M25 at Junction 30 in Essex, and others who were arrested earlier this week.
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Activists have pledged to continue with their actions until the Government makes “a meaningful statement indicating that they will insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030”.
In a statement released earlier this week, Insulate Britain said: “It’s incomprehensible that the Government is continuing to delay action on home insulation when we urgently need to cut our carbon emissions, eliminate fuel poverty and help hard-working families with their rising energy bills.
“Added to which industry is crying out for the Government to show some leadership and get behind a national retrofitting strategy. Come on Boris: get on with the job.”
The Government obtained an injunction last week which means anyone blocking the M25 could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.
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Insulate Britain admitted that its actions this week “are in breach” of the injunction.
Sir Stephen House, Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee on Thursday that he is concerned police forces are under so much pressure to quickly clear the protests that “officers are putting their lives at risk”.
He went on: “The most recent one I saw had officers running between articulated lorries that were moving on the main carriageway of the M25.
“We cannot be doing that. We cannot put people’s lives at risk. My officers’ lives at risk and indeed the demonstrators’ lives at risk.
“We have to look out for that first.
“But we have been very quick in moving these people and arresting them.”
He added: “They started off on the slip roads, which is bad enough, but we’ve now moved on to the main carriageways of the M25, which is absolute lunacy.”
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