TRAFFIC came to a standstill for more than an hour due to a climate change protestor who plonked herself in a middle of a Colchester road.

Lisa Cross sat at the top of Queen Street 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.

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.

What are the 12 hotspots?

Here is the full list of areas in Colchester with more than 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre of air:

  • Mersea Road 21 - 52.4
  • Osborne Street - 51.5
  • Brook Street 28 - 50.5
  • Mersea Road 12 - 48.6
  • Lucy Lane North A12 - 47.6
  • Lucy Lane North Terala - 47.4
  • Brook Street 23 - 46.9
  • Mersea Road 9 - 42.9
  • Mersea Road 10 - 42.7
  • St Botolph's Street - 42.5
  • St John's Street - 42.3
  • East Street - 41.2