Fuel price protests set for M54 and M6 tomorrow with hundreds expected to join

Motorway traffic in the West Midlands is set to be brought to a crawl on Monday morning when fuel protests are staged.

The protests could bring traffic on the motorways to a standstill
The protests could bring traffic on the motorways to a standstill

Drivers angry at the ever-increasing cost of petrol and diesel are due to hold go-slow protests around the country, with two of those demonstrations due to be held in the region.

Around 200 drivers in vans, trucks and cars are expected to gather and form a convoy at Junction 4 of the M54 in Telford, while more protesters are due to take to the M6 at Junction 3 for Coventry and Nuneaton.

Both protests are expected to start at around 6am.

Businessman Andy Carloman has organised the M54 convoy under the banner ‘Stand Up to Fuel Prices UK Wide’.

He said: “I have been involved in discussions with the police about where we will start and the nature of the protest as the last thing we want to do is break the law and risk arrest - but we certainly intend to get the message across.”

Meanwhile, West Midlands Police has urged frustrated drivers not to take part in the go-slow on the M6.

The Fuel Price Stand Against Tax Group is planning to slow traffic to 30mph in lanes one and two of the northbound carriageway from Junction 3, before returning down the southbound carriageway.

The force has told drivers to consider the consequences of clogging up the road network.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "We’re aware that people may be planning to disrupt traffic on Monday (4 July).

"Together with our partners, we are experienced in managing this type of protest, but we’d urge drivers to check for any disruption on their route in advance of travelling.

"We would urge those planning to take part to consider the knock-on effect on people who may be trying to get to work, school or hospital appointments."

Any motorists who break the law during the protests can expect their collar felt and wallet hit by a fine.

"As with any journey on any day, we’d recommend that people check their route for delays by listening to local radio," the spokesman added.

The protests are part of a series of demonstrations due to take place on Monday. Other locations expected to be targeted by drivers are the Severn Bridge on the M4, the M6 near Preston, the M25 in Surrey, the M62 between Hull and Leeds and the M56.

The planned convoys come as fuel prices continue to rise despite a dip in wholesale costs.

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.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the rise in the price of petrol illustrates "the biggest retailers' resistance to reduce their pump prices in line with the lower wholesale cost of unleaded".

He went on: "Rather than passing on some of the savings they are benefiting from, they are clearly banking on the wholesale market moving up again which is disappointing for drivers who are desperate to see an end to ever-rising prices.

"Sadly, there no longer seems to be any appetite among the big four supermarkets to drive customers into their stores with lower pump prices.

"We question whether we will ever see much competition between supermarkets over fuel again, let alone a so-called 'price war'."

Supermarket fuel retailers have also stopped cutting pump prices to encourage customers into their stores, while retailers have reported a surge in verbal abuse towards forecourt staff by drivers angry at pump prices.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs he will carefully consider calls for a "more substantial" fuel duty cut after the 5p per litre reduction implemented in March failed to halt price rises.

In June, the CMA launched a "short and focused review" into how much drivers are being charged for fuel, after a request by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

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