Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has criticised climate protesters as “dangerous and counterproductive” after they blocked the M25 for the third time in a week.
Forty-eight people were arrested on Friday after Insulate Britain eco warriors brought the motorway to a halt.
Mr Shapps said on Twitter: “We all agree that climate change must be tackled, but this sort of behaviour achieves nothing, puts drivers at risk and INCREASES pollution.”
He added: “I expect the police to take swift action to clear the roads.”
Insulate Britain said 79 people attempted to block the London orbital motorway hours after their release from police custody following similar protests on Wednesday.
Junctions three, at Swanley in Kent, nine, at Leatherhead in Surrey, and 28, near Brentwood in Essex, were targeted.
Police were forced to drag activists off the road after they arrived shortly after 8.30am at Junction three.
One woman, named only as Cathy, glued herself to the road.
She told Sun Online: “I’m really scared. I don’t want to be doing this, I’m doing this for my children.
“I’m only doing this because I’m desperate.”
This is dangerous and counterproductive. We all agree that climate change must be tackled, but this sort of behaviour achieves nothing, puts drivers at risk and INCREASES pollution. I expect the police to take swift action to clear the roads. pic.twitter.com/8YqouvXKuw
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 17, 2021
Insulate Britain are demanding that the government insulate all homes in Britain by 2025, starting with social housing.
A Surrey Police spokesperson said: “We were made aware of protesters at junction 9 of the M25 earlier this morning.
“Fourteen people have been arrested. We were also made aware shortly after 9am of protesters at junction 1 of the M3. We are on the scene and arrests are being made. Further updates to follow.”
— LBC (@LBC) September 15, 2021
Essex Police arrested a further 24 people on Friday at junction 28 of the M25 and junction 8 of the M11 where it meets the A120.
An additional 10 people were arrested by Kent Police at a roundabout joining the B1273 in Swanley and junction three of the M25.
A spokesperson said: “Officers attended and engaged with the individuals involved. One lane was closed and ten people were arrested on suspicion of obstructing a highway. They remain in custody as enquiries continue.
“The road is now clear and traffic is moving.”
Protesters sparked travel chaos on Monday, when they staged a two hour rush-hour blockade on the M25.
They struck again on Wednesday when some 89 demonstrators stormed Britain’s busiest motorway, with some gluing themselves to the road.
Police from Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Kent arrested dozens of protesters, appealing to motorists for any footage of the incident.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the climate protesters were “selfish”.
On Thursday, Ms Patel spoke out against the “guerrilla tactics” used by protesters which she said “detract from their cause”.
She said: “Peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our democracy and there will always be space for legitimate groups to make their voices heard.
“But this government will not stand by and allow a small minority of selfish protesters to cause significant disruption to the lives and livelihoods of the hard-working majority.”
One woman, from Surrey, was forced to leave several hours early for a hospital appointment ahead on Wednesday said: “It was the last thing I needed to be honest.
“I’m already worried about the (heart) operation being delayed because of Covid and this was the final test before it could go ahead.
“If I didn’t make it, the operation may have been pushed back.
“It’s completely selfish to play havoc with people’s lives in this way. I won’t have been the only one who was on their way to hospital. These extremists could have killed someone.”