Friends of the Earth displayed banners showing slogans such as "Costain: on the road to bankruptcy" and "New Costain, New Danger", an echo of the Tories' "demon eyes" campaign.
Inside the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in Westminster, anti-road protesters who have obtained Costain shares chanted for the board resign. The opening address of the chairman, Sir Christopher Benson, was drowned out with slow-handclapping and shareholders queued up to barrack the board.
One shareholder received a standing ovation when she said: "You are tarnishing the company's reputation and image. You don't have a hope in hell of surviving into the 21st century if you continue [with the road]. I suggest you withdraw from the Newbury bypass."Reuse content