London’s transport network has been given a Supreme Court injunction against protesters from Insulate Britain, which aims to prevent them from preventing traffic.
Transport for London (TfL) said the Civil Prohibition Order applies to 14 places around the capital, including some of its busiest roads, and that it follows several previous injunctions against members of the group.
The trial comes after protesters on Friday blocked highway crossings for the 12th time in the last four weeks, causing emotional clashes with motorists.
Insulate Britain activists said about 40 protesters were involved in blocking the junction of the M25 and A501 motorways at the Old Street roundabout during rush hour on the last working day of the week, causing long queues for traffic.
TfL said the new order was given later Friday afternoon.
A spokesman for TfL said: “The safety of people traveling on the capital’s roads is our first priority.
“We have received an injunction this afternoon from the High Court, which prohibits protesters from participating in activities that prevent traffic in 14 places.
“This will help protect London’s road network and everyone who uses it.
“We will continue to work closely with the police and other London motorway authorities to manage the impact on the road network and will encourage people to check their journeys before traveling.”
The ban applies to Hanger Lane, Vauxhall Bridge, Hammersmith gyratory system, Blackwall Tunnel, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Park Lane including Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner, Elephant and Castle including all entrances and exits, Victoria one-way system, ring road A501 from Edgware Road to Old Street, Staples Corner, Chiswick Roundabout, Redbridge Roundabout and Kidbrooke Interchange.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan supported the move, with his spokesman adding: “The mayor passionately believes in the right to protest, but it must always be done peacefully, safely and within the law.
“We are pleased that TfL has received an injunction prohibiting demonstrators from participating in activities that prevent traffic in 14 places.
“This will help keep London’s road network safe and everyone who uses it.”
People who break orders can be despised in court, but prosecution usually takes several months, which means there is no immediate impact on the protests.
Three previous injunctions do not appear to have deterred the protesters.
The first order, given to National Highways on September 21, banned the demonstrations on the M25 and was followed by an order approved on September 24, which limited protests around Dover Harbor.
A third order on October 2 banned protesters from blocking traffic and access to motorways and major A roads in and around London.
Metropolitan police said they arrested 16 people suspected of blocking the highway during Friday’s highway protest, with many gluing to the roadway and 19 at the Old Street roundabout.
Insulate Britain admitted that its actions on the M25 were “contrary” to an earlier government order.
Tracey Mallagan, a spokeswoman for Insulate Britain, which calls on the government to isolate all British homes by 2030 to reduce CO2 emissions, said: “If governments do not act quickly to reduce emissions, we are facing a dire situation.
“We don’t have to worry about lack of pasta or rolls because law and order breaks down pretty quickly when there is not enough food to go around.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps branded members of Insulate Britain “glued fools” and said he had “actively applied” for more injunctions.
He told LBC: “It’s dangerous, it’s really outrageous, and ironically it’s likely to increase pollution when cars idle waiting for their rubbish to wear out of the way.
“Existing laws need to be tightened to get these glued fools off the road, and the interior minister has said she will do so in the crime and penal code bill passed by parliament.
“In the meantime, I have actively applied for a restraining order covering the national motorway network around London, around the South East. Now these people can go to jail for what they do.
“I very much imagine that the courts will look very weak on the perception that they are ignoring a court ban. It can be unlimited fines, it can be six months in prison. We have actively serviced door-to-door individuals-over 100 have been serviced.
“I think we will start to see the courts have a very, very weak view and lock some of these people in, it is unacceptable.
“I can tell you that these injunctions may well have been violated and that people may end up in jail as a result.”