Climate activists to block A12 in protest to change drivers’ habits

The protest will stop traffic on the A12 in Woodbridge Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The protest will stop traffic on the A12 in Woodbridge Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

Environmental activists are planning to block traffic on a major road next weekend in an attempt to persuade drivers to change their travel habits in the face of a climate emergency.

Deben Affinity Group - an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion Ipswich - has said it will be stopping traffic at a busy junction of the A12 for several hours on Saturday, March 21.

Protestors will repeatedly use the toucan crossings between Prentices Lane and Hasketon Road in Woodbridge, which is likely to result in cars being forced to a halt throughout the day.

The protest is scheduled to start at 10am and end at 2pm.

Organiser Neil Winship said the event has been arranged to mark one year since Suffolk county councillors from a range of political parties declared a state of climate emergency.

MORE: Suffolk county councillors vote to declare a 'climate emergency'

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The council said it would aim to become carbon neutral by 2030, but Mr Winship says he is unhappy with the progress that has been made and is determined to make a stance.

Patrick Gillard, the mayor of Woodbridge, is expected to cut a large cake commemorating a year since the state of climate emergency was declared.

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Mr Winship believes legally stopping traffic will cause only a minor disruption to drivers on the day - but feels convincing them to reassess their travel options is far more important.

He said: 'We want to promote active and sustainable travel instead of low-occupancy cars.

'Car drivers need to ask themselves: 'Could I reasonably go by foot, bike, bus or train?'

'It would be good if we can see a gradual transition from car dependence. We have become addicted to cars as a society.

'If we can persuade people to walk or cycle instead of driving, there will be lower emissions and public health will improve.'

Eamonn O'Nolan, Green Party member and former mayor of Woodbridge, said he is planning to attend the event next weekend.

He added: 'A lot of us feel it's an important issue that needs bringing to attention.

'It's only because of the protests that people think of environmental issues and are aware.

'People are capable of changing their behaviour if the protest is memorable.'

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