M5 fuel protests ‘annoying the wrong people’, says motorist
A motorist has questioned today's fuel protests on the M5 and M4 and says demonstrators are 'annoying the wrong people'. Motorist Rob Sayer took to the M5 Traffic and Travel Facebook group to voice his frustrations over the slow-moving convoy. Mr Sayer says protesters would be better served blocking 'refineries' and 'bulk fuel depots' rather than motorways.
He added that it is ironic to be protesting against the price of fuel by 'burning more of it'. Rob Sayer said: "As much as I agree that the price of petrol and diesel is outrageous these days, I think the protesters are annoying the wrong people here. READ MORE: M5 fuel protests: Map shows 30-miles of delays as roadblock brings 'Frantic Friday' to a halt
"If I am travelling on the motorway, and get delayed by these people do you think I'm going to be angry at the government or oil companies? Not a chance. They haven't stopped me going about my lawful business.
"If the protesters want to make a point (and I think they have a valid gripe), how about blocking a few refineries, bulk fuel depots or such like? (Although that may have the unintended consequence of raising prices due to demand if the delivery trucks can't get through.) Or maybe if you're upset about the amount of tax on fuel, harangue a few politicians (whilst remembering none of the parties - Labour, Conservative or Liberal have ever abolished fuel duty since 1928). "Finally, I can't think of anything more ironic than protesting the price of petrol and diesel by burning more of it (which you claim not to be able to afford), in the least efficient way possible, making others travel in a less efficient way (therefore making them fill up more than they need to) whilst shouting about the unfairness of it all, then turning around and going home after accomplishing nothing more than p***ing off 99 per cent of the other commuters." Today's protests come less than two weeks after a group of campaigners staged a 'go-slow' convoy against the rising costs of fuel.
They labelled the campaign 'Fuel Price Stand Against Tax'. The July 4 protests saw the M4, M5 and M32 motorways targeted, as campaigners honked their horns as the slow-moving traffic progressed. Some drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the 30mph speed limit.
Where are the protests today?
There have been two separate protests so far today (July 22).
The first saw a slow-moving 10-vehicle convoy leave Bridgwater at around 8.45am, before heading north towards the M4. It was initially reported that the M4 would be disrupted as the protesters drove towards junction 1 of the M32, but this is no longer the case. The second protest saw vehicles stop at the Shell garage on Bristol Road in Bridgwater.
They blocked the entrance to the forecourt at around 10.30am. The police have not specified if the group behind the July 4 protests is also responsible for today's.
What have the police said?
Superintendent Tony Blatchford said yesterday: "Our protest liaison team has been engaging with the organiser so we can inform the public of the likely disruption and help to minimise it. Nevertheless, drivers can expect journey times will likely be longer than normal, especially on motorways, which often tend to be at their busiest at this time of year.
"We advise motorists consider any alternative travel plans available and ensure they are suitably prepared in case they are delayed."
Are fuel costs dropping?
The average price at which retailers buy petrol has fallen by 17p a litre since the start of June. However, new data from the RAC shows that prices at the pump have dropped by just 4p - with just 4 per cent of forecourts charging below 180p a litre for petrol. According to Experian, the average price of a litre of petrol on Wednesday (July 20) was 187.5p, while diesel cost 196.1p.
The RAC believes motorists should pay 174p a litre of petrol and 189p for diesel.
To keep up-to-date with the latest news from the protests, follow our live blog here.