Protesters prosecuted over Brexit gridlock demonstration

Protesters prosecuted over Brexit gridlock demonstration
Image: Yorkshire Post
 
The two lead drivers in a pro-Brexit demonstration which brought major roads to a crawl over the weekend have been prosecuted for inconsiderate driving.

Convoys of protestors took to the roads in a bid to create gridlock – making their point that the UK should leave the European Union on March 29 “come hell or high water.”

After attending significant delays on the A30 and parts of the northbound M5, Devon and Cornwall Police took the decision to stop the convoys and prosecute the two lead drivers of both for careless and inconsiderate driving.

 

 

Organisers say the demonstrations aimed to ensure the UK leaves the EU on time, by causing gridlock on motorways and A roads using a convoy of slow-moving vehicles.

They attempted to cause issues at between 30 and 40 locations, including the M25, M6 and M1.

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Inspector Simon Jenkinson told the Press Association that the force was "happy to facilitate" the protests as long as they did not bring the roads to a standstill.

But after failing to adhere to the police requests made prior to the protests, officers were left with no option but to prosecute.

Mr Jenkinson added: “We took the decision for the front two vehicles to be pulled over and reported for the driving offence of careless and inconsiderate driving. They presented a risk to the road-using community.

 

 

“The information I have had was there were speeds as low as 20mph (on the M5). That presents a significant risk on a very busy arterial road.”

The RAC advises that, while most motorways in the UK do not have an official minimum speed limit, “travelling too slowly can be considered dangerous” and might attract attention from police.

In 2017, the fragility of the UK road network was exposed by figures which showed traffic jams cost the economy £9 billion inside just one year.

Over the weekend, Highways England tweeted: “There have been a few issues but nothing of any major impact and at present everything is running as usual.”

Ian Charlesworth, organiser of the protests, said the aim was to cause “serious gridlock”. He believes MPs “will be looking at it”, but added he does not know how effective the protests will be.

"The ultimate aim is to make sure come hell or high water that Britain leaves on March 29," the 55-year-old told the Press Association.

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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