Just Stop Oil protesters removed from Dartford Crossing bridge and arrested

Police use raised platform to bring down activists who had blocked route linking Kent and Essex for second day

Two Just Stop Oil protesters who climbed up the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and blocked the Dartford Crossing have been removed by police and arrested.

Officers brought in a raised platform after the Dartford Crossing was blocked for the second day in a row. The protesters had agreed with police to leave the bridge, which links Kent and Essex.

Essex police tweeted: “Two people who had been at height on the #DartfordCrossing have now been brought down and arrested. An at-height operation was a success and two men have now been arrested. A decision on how and when to open the road sits with @HighwaysEAST.”

Just Stop Oil wrote on Twitter: “Morgan and Marcus have agreed to cooperate with police and leave the bridge. #JustStopOil will continue in #CivilResistance to harmful politics and our criminal government. To protect our rights, freedoms and the rule of law.”

The bridge was closed on Monday after it was scaled by the two climbers from the group, whose demands include that the government “halts all new oil and gas licences and consents”.

The closure of the major road bridge caused delays of two hours during rush hour on Monday, with six miles of congestion on the anti-clockwise carriageway and five miles in the opposite direction, National Highways said.

National Highways earlier said delays were building on Tuesday, with about 1.5 miles of slow-moving traffic. “Road users are advised to avoid travelling to the Dartford Crossing, please consider alternative routes,” it added.

Just Stop Oil is understood to have further action planned in London throughout October.

The protest group tweeted: “We successfully disrupted oil supplies to Kent & the South East for 36 hrs. We are stepping down now but other supporters of Just Stop Oil will be stepping up day after day, causing disruption & putting their liberty on the line to demand that the government ends new oil & gas.”

Morgan Trowland, 39, a bridge design engineer from London, said in a statement released by Just Stop Oil on Monday: “As a professional civil engineer, each year as I renew my registration I commit to acting within our code of ethics, which requires me to safeguard human life and welfare and the environment.

“Our government has enacted suicidal laws to accelerate oil production, killing human life and destroying our environment. I can’t challenge this madness in my desk job, designing bridges, so I’m taking direct action, occupying the QEII bridge until the government stops all new oil.”

The A282 Dartford Crossing is the only way to cross the Thames east of London by road. The 1.7-mile QEII Bridge southbound, and two 0.8-mile tunnels northbound, link Essex and Kent. The A282 also connects directly at both ends with the M25 London orbital motorway, one of the busiest in Europe.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan police arrested 26 Just Stop Oil activists blocking Talgarth Road near Barons Court tube station in west London on Tuesday. At 7.30am, the activists sat down on the road with banners and glued themselves to the road surface and to each other.


Jamie Grierson and Nadeem Badshah

The GuardianTramp

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