National Highways explains protest closure approach

National Highways says that roads must be closed when protestors are close to a carriageway because safety remains its number one priority.

The Independent has reported quotes from Sean Martell, who is leading National Highways’ response to protests from organisations like Just Stop Oil, that is not an option because “There is a risk of (protesters) falling from the gantry”.

The report says Mr Martell told the PA news agency that there is also “a risk of items falling from the gantry that might be in their possession.

It’s clearly a risk of distraction to drivers who see people and banners on gantries.

“Our approach has been to work with the police to initially close the road and assess the risk that that person on the gantry poses.

“Where possible we’ll consider what lanes we can reopen, but our number one imperative is safety and we have to think about the safety of all road users when these protests happen.”

The report also said that Mr Martell commented to PA about evidence that security devices on gantries had been tampered with, and that his organisation is working hard on legal routes to stop protests.

Last week a man told how he missed his own father’s funeral because he was caught up in traffic congestion caused by the M25 being closed due to protests.

(Picture – Just Stop Oil)


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