Fuel protests: Which motorways and roads are disrupted today?

·6-min read
LEEDS, ENGLAND - JULY 04: A protesters car is held back as police deploy a stinger at the exit junction to Ferrybridge service station on July 04, 2022 in Leeds, England. Prices for petrol and diesel have risen steadily this year as the price of oil has climbed, due to post-pandemic demand and sanctions against Russia, one of the world's largest oil exporters. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
A protester's car is held back as police deploy a stinger at the exit junction to Ferrybridge service station near Leeds. (Getty Images)

Several UK motorways and roads have been disrupted by fuel protests on Monday.

Police have warned of "serious disruption throughout the day" as demonstrators protest against rising petrol and diesel prices amid a cost of living crisis.

Protesters are calling for a cut in fuel duty.

The average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new high of 191.5p on Sunday, according to data firm Experian. The average price of diesel was 199.0p per litre.

Watch: Protesters target M4 in fuel duty demonstration

The protests are understood to have been organised via social media under the banner Fuel Price Stand Against Tax.

Protests have mainly targeted three-lane motorways with "go-slow" convoys.

But which British roads are affected by Monday's fuel protests?

M4

The bulk of Monday morning's disruption has come along the M4.

Rolling road blocks brought parts of the motorway to a standstill.

Campaigners focused on a stretch of motorway between Bristol and South Wales, including the Prince of Wales Severn bridge crossing.

For a few minutes, both carriageways of the M4 approaching the Severn crossing were brought to a standstill by go-slow protests travelling east and west.

Police escort vehicles along the M4 motorway during the morning rush hour as drivers hold a go-slow protest on the M4. Police have warned of
Police escort vehicles along the M4 motorway during the morning rush hour as drivers hold a go-slow protest. (PA)

Two police motorcyclists rode in front of four vehicles travelling at around 30mph from the Bristol area towards South Wales.

There was a marked police patrol car behind the protesters, followed by dozens of queuing motorists.

A larger convoy of protesters drove over the Severn crossing heading into England from Wales with a large backlog of traffic following behind.

Gwent Police Chief Superintendent Tom Harding confirmed a total of 12 people were arrested during the fuel price protest on the M4.

A12

A "go-slow" convoy of demonstrators also brought disruption to the A12 in Essex on Monday morning.

By 9.30am, a convoy had made its way to Chelmsford, causing delays back to Kelvedon, 14 miles away.

The convoy of protesters was made up of about 40 to 50 vehicles.

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."

M62 and A64

A group of protesters were stopped by police from entering the motorway at Ferrybridge services near Leeds.

Police put a stinger device along the road to prevent demonstrators from driving on to the motorway.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - JULY 04: A protester walks over a police stinger as the police close off the exit junction at Ferrybridge services on July 04, 2022 in Leeds, England. Prices for petrol and diesel have risen steadily this year as the price of oil has climbed, due to post-pandemic demand and sanctions against Russia, one of the world's largest oil exporters. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
A protester walks over a police stinger as the police close off the exit junction at Ferrybridge services near Leeds. (Getty Images)
YORK, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Protesters hold up signs as they slow the traffic down on the A64 on July 04, 2022 in York, England. Prices for petrol and diesel have risen steadily this year as the price of oil has climbed, due to post-pandemic demand and sanctions against Russia, one of the world's largest oil exporters. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
Protesters hold up signs as they slow the traffic down on the A64 in York. (Getty Images)
YORK, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Protesters slow the traffic down on the A64 on July 04, 2022 in York, England. Prices for petrol and diesel have risen steadily this year as the price of oil has climbed, due to post-pandemic demand and sanctions against Russia, one of the world's largest oil exporters. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
Protesters slow the traffic down on the A64 in York on Monday. (Getty Images)

West Yorkshire Police tweeted: "West Yorkshire Police is negotiating with a small group of fuel price protestors at Ferrybridge motorway services regarding ways in which a peaceful, safe and lawful demonstration can be facilitated.

"There is currently no disruption to the motorway network in the rush hour period, but we would advise drivers to avoid Ferrybridge services."

Police said later the protest near Ferrybridge services in Yorkshire has cleared but there was a go-slow by campaigners on the A64 in the York area.

“We’re working closely with local and regional partner agencies to minimise disruption,” North Yorkshire Police said.

“We have additional officers and support in place to ensure protest activity is lawful and disruption is kept to a minimum.”

M180

Vans and trucks being driven by protesters were doing 15mph in a convoy on the M180 from Scunthorpe to Immingham in North East Lincolnshire.

The convoy set out at 6am on Monday and is expected to make its way towards Doncaster services.

M5 and A38

Avon and Somerset Police said a "slow-moving rolling road block" of protesters set off from junction 24 of the M5 heading northbound from Bridgwater Gateway services.

The force tweeted: "A number of motorists are planning to drive north and exit at the M4 Almondsbury Interchange. We are told they will then head down the M32 and exit at J1.

Police escort vehicles across the Prince of Wales Bridge, which runs between England and Wales, during the morning rush hour as drivers hold a go-slow protest on the M4. Police have warned of
Police escort vehicles across the Prince of Wales Bridge, which runs between England and Wales, during a go-slow protest at fuel prices. (PA)

"The M5 protest is continuing to head northbound and is currently near the Sedgemoor Services (J21-22).

"The rolling roadblock is currently travelling at approximately 30mph and therefore motorists can expect some delays."

Superintendent Adrian Leisk, of Devon and Cornwall Police, later said the protest on the M5 between junctions 27 and 28 was carried out in a “safe and legal manner”.

“We had some challenges in relation to action being taken on the A38,” he said. “At around 9am we had reports of excessively slow speeds from some of those protesting, leading to cars braking suddenly and potentially causing a serious issue on our roads.

“Officers escorted three vehicles off the road near Buckfastleigh.

“These drivers were given formal warnings and were advised over acceptable parameters of their protests, including a minimum speed and leaving lanes clear.

“They were informed that any breach of these directions would lead to an arrest. At around 10.45am we received further reports of unsafe driving on the A38 near Ivybridge.

“One road user, a man in his 50s, ignored the previous warning given to him and was subsequently arrested on suspicion of breach of the Public Order Act and taken into police custody.”

M54

There were delays of about 30 minutes on the M54 which stretches through Shropshire and Staffordshire because of go-slow demonstrations.

Large queues of traffic have gathered on the westbound carriageway from junction 2 to junction 4.

The convoy of protesters left Shifnal Services just after 7am on Monday, then headed to junction 1 at Cannock before turning back. Further protests are planned along the adjoining M6 later.

West Mercia Police officers were in attendance as protesters travelled in slow convoy on the motorway between junctions 1 and 4 from 7am until about 8.30am.

“Unfortunately the tactics used by some protesters today compromised the safety of other road users,” a force spokesman said.

“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.”

Watch: Fuel protesters bring M4 to standstill with rolling road blocks

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