DOZENS of green campaigners staged a protest in Winchester to oppose a £100 million scheme for the M3.

Members of the local branch of Extinction Rebellion took to the High Street on Saturday, urging passers by to object the plans for Junction 9, Winnall.

More than 30 people joined in, with some handing out leaflets and talking to spectators, a few giving speeches, and the rest creating a ‘die-in’ – a technique in which climate change rebels lay on the ground and pretend to be dead.

A spokesperson said: “It’s a difficult issue to talk about.

“But the point of the protest is to show that Highways England are doing what they always do.

“They haven’t conducted enough, there’s been no rural research, and the quality of their assessment of the scheme has just been dreadful.

“They don’t monitor the carbon dioxide levels on the M3, which alone is bad enough.”

The spokesperson added: “Wider roads attract more traffic, and people are always going to drive at faster speeds, 70mph if they can.

“You always see Extinction Rebellion in London, big organisations always hit the capital first in countries around the globe, but it’s great to see such a successful protest being held here in Winchester.”

Extinction Rebellion alleges Highways England is not being fully open about its proposals which are open for public consultation until the end of the month.

The agency wants to revamp the interchange of the M3, A34 and A272 at Winnall.

The A34 southbound link would pass the M3 with a 50mph speed limit.

County councillor Jackie Porter was at the protest and told the Chronicle: “I’ve been to lots of meetings and spoken to a lot of people that share similar views to Extinction Rebellion, and I think what they have to say will have a huge impact on both the city and county councils.

“It’s time to put the money where the mouth is and meet the targets set when a climate emergency was declared. It must be achieved. It’s also very heartening to see so many young people – children and adults – here, all expressing their views and recognising the global issue that is climate change.”

The public can express opinions on the plans by visiting the Highways England website, where a consultation form is available. Alternatively, emails can be sent to: