Traffic is building near the Dartford Crossing this morning because climate activists have blocked roads.

Essex Police have arrested 16 activists from Insulate Britain, which has blocked a number of major transport routes in recent weeks demanding a fully-funded national home insulation programme.

The force was called to reports of people on the slip road of Junction 31 of the M25 shortly after 8.25am and officers were on the scene within five minutes.

They said: “We have been able to keep lane one open to keep traffic moving and hope to be able to reopen all lanes shortly.”

They also received reports of a blockage in Stonehouse Lane, Purfleet.

According to a statement from Insulate Britain, approximately 40 people are involved in the protest.

On September 22, the High Court granted National Highways - formerly Highways England - several injunctions against protesters who have blocked roads, and transport minister Grant Shapps said protesters could face jail time if they flout the injunction.

According to AA Roadwatch, traffic remains blocked in both directions from London Road to Oliver Close, due to the demonstrators blocking St Clements Way.

Most protestors have been removed from London Road, but St Clements Way remains blocked, it reported.

The A1306 is also partially blocked, with long delays and queueing traffic due to protestors at M25 junction 31.

Liam Norton from Insulate Britain said in a statement: “In 10 years' time when fuel crises are catastrophic, when the food has run out and when people are experiencing unsurvivable heat waves, what would you be wishing you had done now?

Barking and Dagenham Post: Essex Police made 18 arrests at the protest, which flouted a High Court injunctionEssex Police made 18 arrests at the protest, which flouted a High Court injunction (Image: Essex Police)

“We think you’ll be wishing you had sat on the road with Insulate Britain doing whatever it took to protect current and future generations.”

An Essex Police statement said: “We are working to resolve the situation and get traffic moving again as quickly and safely as possible.

“We know this will be frustrating for people caught up in traffic but we appreciate your patience and understanding.”

National Highways have been approached for comment.