A protest in a tunnel in Heathrow at the proposed expansion of the airport has ground traffic on a busy road near the airport to a halt.

Images are appearing of a single car draped with an anti-Third Runway banner parked across both lanes, causing gridlock on the M4 spur road heading into the airport.

Heathrow says there is heavy traffic around Terminals 2 and 3 advises avoiding the spur if possible.

Transport for London has said: "Tunnel Road East (TW6/UB7) (Southbound) Road blocked due to a demonstration."

Holiday makers have taken to Twitter to express their anger at being delayed due to the protests.

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Heathrow statement continued

It added:

We apologise to passengers whose journeys may have taken a bit longer because of this unlawful protest.”

More from Heathrow Airport

In a further statement, it said:

Earlier this morning protesters staged a demonstration in the in-bound tunnel to Terminals 2 and 3 – the protesters have now been removed by the Police and the tunnel has re-opened .”

All the latest

We’ve rounded up all the info we have so on this blog in this report. But we’ll still bring any breaking developments here when we get them.

Good news if you've been stuck in the traffic

Images of the protest

These images from Rising Up! show a police speaking to one of the demonstrators

A protester by the car at the Heathrow tunnel
A protester by the car at the Heathrow tunnel (Image: Rising Up!)
Police speak to a A Rising Up! protester at the Heathrow tunnel
Police speak to a A Rising Up! protester at the Heathrow tunnel (Image: Rising Up!)

'Government not listening

Mr Bramwell continued:

The Government is not listening to the science or to our concerns. They have left us with no alternative but to keep taking action.

“We will not stop until plans to build another runway are fully and finally shut down.”

Protester speaks

The protesters are said to be from the Rising Up! group. Simon Bramwell is one of those taking part. He said:

This blockade is our contribution to the consultation: a third runway is a disastrous option that will lead to climate chaos. “I look upon my niece and nephew, upon the children who will inherit the future we are creating right now and my conscience tells me to act.”

'Selfish, short-sighted and counter-productive'

Pro-expansion group Back Heathrow give their take on the tunnel protest

The actions of these protesters are selfish, short-sighted and counter-productive. Most local communities living near Heathrow support expansion and passengers simply want to be able to use the airport in peace.

“This pointless protest will merely aggravate thousands of ordinary people, many of whom simply want to get to work or catch a flight.”

Heathrow: 'Safety is paramount'

A spokesperson for the airport said:

Heathrow Airport can confirm that a protest activity is on-going in the in-bound tunnel to Terminals 2 and 3.

Heathrow supports the right to peaceful protest within the law, but the safety and security of our passengers, aircraft and colleagues together with the smooth running of the operation is paramount. Contraflow traffic measures are in place and we are working closely with the authorities to resolve the issue, but advise passengers to allow more time to drive into Terminals 2 and 3.”

The areas to avoid

According to TfL...

Traffic caused by the blocked tunnel protest
Traffic caused by the blocked tunnel protest (Image: TfL)

Met: Tunnel is clear

More from the Met:

Heathrow officers are working with Heathrow Airport staff to remove the people locked to the third car.

“A contra-flow is in place in the outbound tunnel to facilitate the movement of traffic around the blocked tunnel (which is now empty), but motorists are advised possible delays to their journey as this incident is dealt with.”

More from the Met

A spokesperson for the police said:

Officers attended the inbound tunnel and found three cars blocking the tunnel, with three protestors locked to one of them. The drivers of two of the vehicles have been arrested for obstructing a highway.”

Three cars involved in protest

The Met Police say three cars were involved in the protest.

They were called at 8.25am to reports of a tunnel near Heathrow Airport blocked to traffic by protestors

Anger at delays

It looks like today’s demonstration is in response to the government decision for Heathrow expansion.

However, some social media users are unhappy. One person on Twitter, using colourful language I dare not repeat, says the actions will achieve nothing and ruin people’s holidays

Avoid if possible

Here’s advice from Heathrow

Police in attendance

According to this image, police are at the scene

Tunnel blocked

Images from a climate campaign group on Twitter account appears to show a man lying on the floor beside a blue vehicle with a banner across the vehicle reading ‘No New Runways’

Grim sight

If you’re sitting in this jam right now, we feel for you.

A demonstrator looks to have blocked a Heathrow tunnel causing horrific traffic around the airport.

Traffic on the M4 spur heading into Heathrow on Tuesday (February 21) morning
Traffic on the M4 spur heading into Heathrow on Tuesday (February 21) morning (Image: Highways England)