Department for Transport
Government takes out first nationwide injunction against climate activists blocking key roads
New injunction will ban activities that obstruct motorways and major A roads across the entire country.
- National Highways granted new interim injunction covering the strategic road network in England, banning activities that obstruct traffic and access.
- those who breach the injunction will be in contempt of court and at risk of imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine
- comes as 9 protestors face High Court proceedings for breaching other injunctions
National Highways has secured a new nationwide interim injunction to target protestors who cause disruption on any part of the strategic road network in England.
The High Court granted the interim injunction today (25 October 2021) following an application from National Highways.
The new injunction bans activities that obstruct traffic and prevent access to 4,300 miles of motorways and major A roads. It also bans activities which cause damage to the road surface and infrastructure and prohibits activists from gluing themselves to the road or abandoning their vehicles.
Anyone who breaches this injunction faces imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. Activists found in contempt of court may also be forced to repay the costs of their case.
The latest interim injunction was granted in addition to 3 earlier injunctions including one covering the M25. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
We are making use of every avenue of existing law to try to prevent the continued life-endangering action being carried out by Insulate Britain, which is causing intolerable disruption to motorists’ lives and livelihoods. This new interim injunction will ban activities that obstruct motorways and major A roads across the entire country.
On top of the immediate measures we’re taking, the long term solution lies in the changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which were set out by the Home Secretary, giving additional powers against disruptive protests which target critical national infrastructure. This includes unlimited fines and prison sentences of up to 6 months for obstructing highways.
Duncan Smith, Acting Executive Director of Operations at National Highways, said:
This new injunction covering the strategic road network across the country is another step forward in helping to keep these reckless and dangerous protests away from our network and endangering peoples’ lives.
We continue to serve court papers on those who have breached the previous injunctions. People who breach the injunctions face imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
National Highways has already taken out 3 injunctions to prevent action along the M25, the M25 feeder roads and major roads around the Port of Dover following dangerous disruption caused by demonstrators from Insulate Britain.
More than 100 activists have already been served with court papers in relation to these injunctions and may face imprisonment and/or a fine for contempt of court if they are found to be in breach of the orders going forward. On Friday, National Highways made 9 applications to the High Court against protestors who had breached an existing injunction by blocking the M25. Now an application for contempt of court has been made, the court will decide whether the protestors breached the injunction order.
These injunctions are a short-term solution to tackle the highly disruptive protests we have seen over the last few weeks and the government has committed to legislating to prevent these kinds of guerrilla tactics in the long-term through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Roads media enquiries
Media enquiries 020 7944 3021
Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292
Switchboard 0300 330 3000
Latest News from
Department for Transport
Government acts to make it easier for businesses to use temporary staff to help ease disruptions caused by strike action23/06/2022 11:27:00
New law to allow businesses to supply skilled agency workers to plug staffing gaps during industrial action.
£2.4 million funding to support seafarers’ mental wellbeing23/06/2022 10:25:00
Developing projects to improve conditions in the maritime sector.
Government helps prevent last-minute summer flight cancellations with “amnesty” on airport slots rule21/06/2022 16:25:00
New regulations on airport slots will help to minimise flight disruption ahead of the summer peak.
Boost for freight as government unveils major new plan to bolster supply chain15/06/2022 11:10:00
Campaign launched to kickstart careers in logistics and create a more environmentally friendly and resilient haulage sector.
Plug-in grant for cars to end as focus moves to improving electric vehicle charging14/06/2022 10:10:00
Government to concentrate funding on expanding the public chargepoint network as well as electric taxis, vans, trucks, motorcycles and wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Consultation on primary legislative changes to reform our railways10/06/2022 13:10:00
Seeking views on primary legislative changes required to effect rail reform as set out in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail (09 June 2022).
Government takes action to ensure Scotland receives best possible HS2 service07/06/2022 11:20:00
Intention to remove Golborne Link from HS2 Bill announced with alternative options to be explored.
Removing the Golborne Link from the HS2 Bill07/06/2022 10:10:10
Intention to remove the Golborne Link from the High-Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill announced with alternative options to be explored.