The founder of cosmetics chain Lush has pledged £2.5m to help local campaigners fight road-building plans.
Mark Constantine has promised the cash to anti-road groups after highlighting the “big budgets” of Government and road builders.
The move comes as fears rise among contractors that a new wave of protests could disrupt work on plans to use road building to help restart the economy.
A new wave of local opposition to construction plans through controversial sites will bring back memories of the late nineties campaign against the Newbury Bypass led by infamous protester “Swampy”.
One contractor said: “There are always people against road building plans but it’s our job to just get on and build them.
“It is up to Government to decide the routes and deal with the arguments for and against.”