Shropshire Star

Police accuse some M54 fuel protesters of tactics that 'compromised safety of others'

Tactics used by some fuel protestors during Monday morning's convoy on the M54 compromised the safety of other road users, police have said.

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Police accompanied those taking part in the protest along the M54

A number of cars, trucks and vans left Telford Services at around 7am and drove slowly along the M54 from Junction 4 towards Junction 1 for Cannock, before heading back west, returning at 8.30am.

Officers from West Mercia Police have not revealed what the tactics were, but said officers will act.

A police spokesperson said: "Unfortunately the tactics used by some protesters today compromised the safety of other road users. Officers gathered evidence during the event and we will take action against those who committed road traffic offences.

"The ability to protest is a fundamental part of democracy, however, when protests start to endanger the public and put the safety of others at risk, appropriate and proportionate action will be taken.

"We apologise for any disruption caused this morning and thank the public for their patience and co-operation."

The demonstration caused traffic to queue on the M54 heading west as the convoy made its return to Telford, with National Highways reporting delays of up to 30 minutes.

Responding to the police's claims, protest organiser Andy Carloman said he refuted accusations of unsafe tactics from anyone taking part.

"I am disappointed to hear that and refute it," he said. "We did everything by the book from talking to the police before the event and on the day, and working within the legal parameters that were set.

"We were asked to pull over when we were on the protest but I didn't have the means of talking to all the other drivers behind me and as far as I was concerned this was a legitimate protest carried out in a lawful way."