Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Protestors blocked a tunnel leading into Heathrow Airport for around three hours during this morning's rush hour, bringing traffic to a standstill.
The tunnel was the main access to Terminals 2 and 3, used by mainly long-haul airlines including Virgin, United, Delta, Emirates, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and British Airways.
Protestors from the climate change protest group Rising Up, which is opposing a third runway at Heathrow, have since been removed and the tunnel reopened at around 11.30am.
In a statement, Heathrow said: "Whilst Heathrow supports the right to peaceful protest within the law, the safety and security of our passengers, aircraft and colleagues together with the smooth running of the operation is paramount.
"Contraflow traffic measures were quickly instituted to keep traffic flowing and there were no significant impacts on flights from the airport today."
Activists drove three cars into the tunnel and three of them chained themselves to one of the vehicles. Drivers of two of the cars were arrested for obstructing a highway and two of the vehicles were removed, but it took around three hours to release the protestors from the third vehicle.
In the meantime, traffic backed up along the M4 motorway and a spur road was closed. The A4 Bath Road was also solid for a time.
Heathrow added: "We apologise to passengers whose journeys may have taken a bit longer because of this unlawful protest."
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