A DEFIANT grandmother brought traffic to a halt in for more than an hour... by sitting in the middle of a Colchester town centre road to protest about climate change inaction.

Lisa Cross plonked herself at the top of Queen Street, Colchester, on Saturday wearing a sign which said: “I’m terrified for my grandchildren’s future because of the climate crisis”.

She stayed there for an hour causing queues of traffic to build up through the town centre, before leaving of her own accord.

The 52-year-old said she blocked the road to highlight “the Government’s inaction on climate change” two years on from its declaration of a climate emergency.


About 200 people across the country took similar action.

Lisa, who is part of Colchester’s Extinction Rebellion, said: “We have tried everything we can to make governments wake up and act.

“Although our movement has helped raise the climate and ecological emergency up the global agenda, it’s not enough.

“I’m genuinely scared for my grandchildren’s future otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

“I don’t know what else to do.”

Colchester is one of the most polluted towns in East Anglia according to data by Friends of the Earth.

An audit found 12 places in Colchester where the average level of nitrogen dioxide exceeded World Health Organisation recommended levels in 2018, the latest year for which data is available.

The average must be below 40 to meet government air quality targets, the limit deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.

Colchester Council is trying to tackle the crisis with its CAReless campaign which includes putting up road signs in Brook Street and at East Gates railway crossing asking drivers to switch off their engines when stationary.

The scheme encourages drivers to turn their engines off when stationary, which could help cut pollution in Colchester by up to 30 per cent.

Lisa added: “Two years ago Parliament declared an environment and climate emergency.

“And yet in February, the chief executive of the Environment Agency Sir James Bevan said the UK is hitting worst case environmental scenarios that if left unchecked would collapse ecosystems, slash crop yields, take out the infrastructure that our civilisation depends on, and destroy the basis of the economy and society.”


Lisa’s protest was held to increase pressure on the Government ahead of November’s climate change conference in Glasgow.

The climate talks in Glasgow are set to bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.

A conference spokesman said: “The UK is committed to working with all countries and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action ahead of the conference.”