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As it happenedended1656960717

Fuel protest - live: 13 arrested for ‘driving too slowly’ after major UK roads targeted

Slow-moving convoys cause delays across country

Stuti Mishra,Zoe Tidman,Andy Gregory
Monday 04 July 2022 19:51 BST
Petrol prices: Average cost of filling family car set to exceed £100

At least 13 protesters have been arrested for driving too slowly during road blocks demonstrating against high fuel prices.

Police said there had been a legal minimum speed limit in place, but a number of drivers had been caught breaching this.

Twelve were arrested in south Wales, while one driver was arrested in Devon after previously being warned about driving too slowly.

Convoys of protesters drove slowly on purpose on fast-moving roads in a call for fuel duty to be slashed on Monday.

The demonstrations affected stretches of the M4 and M5, as well as main roads in Essex, Devon, York and Shropshire.

A bridge between England and Wales was temporarily closed due to disruption caused by the protest, while other drivers faced delays due to the convoys.

It came a day after the cost of petrol hit a new record, with the average litre price spiking at 191.5p on Sunday.


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Andy Gregory4 July 2022 19:51

Good morning! Welcome to The Independent’s live blog with all the latest updates as protesters across the UK prepare to block motorways in a demonstration over high fuel prices. Stay tuned!

Stuti Mishra4 July 2022 04:35

Police urge drivers to stay at home ahead of the protests

Drivers are advised to reconsider their journeys and remain at home if possible as major roads in various parts of the country face traffic jams on Monday amid demonstrations calling for a cut in fuel duty.

Protests will target mainly three-lane motorways and see slow-downs on two lanes, leaving the fast lane free, according to FairFuelUK founder Howard Cox.

Read more:

Police urge drivers to stay at home as fuel price protests to block major roads

Demonstrators ‘have reached the end of their tethers’ as prices at pump hit record new highs

Stuti Mishra4 July 2022 04:47

Demonstrators ‘have reached the end of their tethers’, says FairFuel founder

FairFuelUK founder Howard Cox says his organisation is not involved in the action, but he is "fully supportive" of the demonstrations so long as they are conducted legally.

Mr Cox told the PA news agency: "I totally support their protest because people have reached the end of their tethers at the moment."

He said other countries had cut fuel duty by more than the UK and asked "why the hell are we not doing it here?"

Mr Cox called for a cut of at least 20p, and warned that protests will continue if not.

He said: "There is an appetite (for such protest). If the Government don't actually deliver on this, I think there's going to be some serious escalation of protests."

Stuti Mishra4 July 2022 05:05

Organisers to block the Prince of Wales Bridge and other major highways

Gwent Police says protests are expected to take place on the major road networks between 7am and 7pm on Monday.

They said organisers had indicated an intention to block the Prince of Wales Bridge, with the protest starting on the M4 at Magor services, junction 23A eastbound, and junction 20 of the M4 westbound.

Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said he would encourage drivers to reconsider their journey, consider working from home and avoid the area where possible.

Bristol Airport advised travellers to allow extra time for their journeys.

“The protest will likely affect the M5, M4 and the two crossings to Wales. Please allow extra time if travelling to or from the airport.”

Gloucestershire Police said protests are likely to affect the A48, causing travel disruption in the Gloucester and Forest of Dean areas.

Stuti Mishra4 July 2022 05:20

'People's day-to-day lives should not be disrupted,' says government

Reacting to the protests, a government spokesperson said: "While we respect the right to protest, people's day-to-day lives should not be disrupted, especially on busy motorways where lives are put at risk and resulting traffic delays will only add to fuel use.

"The new Public Order Bill will make it a criminal offence to glue yourself to a dangerous motorway, which sees police spending hours trying to safely remove people."

Stuti Mishra4 July 2022 05:45

UK fuel prices touched record high last week

The protests scheduled to begin this morning were organised on social media as a result of the outrage sparked by record fuel prices last week.

Figures from data firm Experian show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new high of 191.4p on Thursday, while diesel rose to 199.1p.

Fuel prices have risen sharply because the price for crude oil, used to make petrol and diesel, has gone up.

Stuti Mishra4 July 2022 06:10

Welsh roads normal so far

Traffic Wales has just said there have been no issues along its network so far this morning.

The Prince of Wales bridge crossing between England and Wales is expected to be hit by protests today:

Zoe Tidman4 July 2022 07:33

Protests now underway

It looks like protests are now underway.

Avon and Somerset Police says it is dealing with a “slow-moving rolling roadblock” on the M4:

Devon and Cornwall Police has also provided updates on the movements of protesters:

Zoe Tidman4 July 2022 07:53

‘It was costing us nearly £400 a month just to get to work,’ former HGV driver says

A former HGV driver due to take part in today’s protest has spoken to Good Morning Britain.

“We both had to leave work in Bristol because we just simply couldn’t afford to do it anymore,” Vicky Stamper said.

“It was costing us nearly £400 a month just to get to work.”

See from 1 minute in:

Zoe Tidman4 July 2022 08:00

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