Thousands of drivers hit by 'go slow' fuel protest on A12 as 50 drivers stage demonstration

  • Watch a report by ITV News' Russell Hookey

Thousands of commuters on the A12 in Essex have had their journeys disrupted this morning by protesters in a demonstration over the price of fuel.A group of at least 50 drivers gathered in Colchester before starting a go-slow along the A12.

Essex police say officers are working hard to keep traffic moving but have warned of possible significant disruption.

Those taking part in the protest said they wanted to highlight the impact high fuel prices were having on them.

"The fuel prices are getting a bit ridiculous, where it is over 40% tax. So 100 quid worth of fuel is 40 quid worth of tax."

It comes amid a string of similar protests up and down the country. In a series of 30mph rolling roadblocks, the protesters were able to bring disruption to road networks during the morning rush-hour.

The protests, which started at around 7am Monday (4 July), are understood to have been organised via social media under the banner Fuel Price Stand Against Tax.

They come as the latest figures from Experian show the average price of petrol reached a new high of 191.5p per litre on Sunday, while the average price of diesel was 199.0p per litre.

Essex Police said they were working hard to minimise the impact on drivers.

Chief Inspector Anna Granger said: “Our priority is always to ensure everyone travelling on Essex’s roads remains safe. "We will be monitoring the situation closely and have a policing operation in place to limit disruption.

“Our teams are experienced at dealing with incidents which cause significant disruption and are well prepared for them.”

In a response to the protests, the Government said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices which is why we have made the biggest cut ever on all fuel duty rates, saving the average UK car driver around £100, van driver around £200 and haulier over £1,500.

“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. That's why we're strengthening the integrity of our transport networks through our Public Order Bill, making it a criminal offence to interfere with the use or operation of key national infrastructure like motorways."

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