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28 October 2014

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You are in: Cornwall > Credit Crunch > A30 Fuel Protest

A30 Fuel Protest

A30 Fuel Protest

A convoy of more than 300 lorries and tractors travelling at less than 10mph along the A30 in Cornwall between Hayle to Launceston and back again caused traffic chaos for holidaymakers by staging a protest over rising fuel prices.

The drivers' six-hour action coincided with the end of the Whitsun half-term break, when thousands of people were trying to return from holiday.

A separate protest also took place on the Devon and Cornwall border.

Many motorists sounded their car horns as they passed the convoy and members of the public stood cheering on some bridges above the road.

A BBC Radio Cornwall reporter at the scene of the main protest said the slow-moving convoy resulted in traffic gridlock in the morning.

"On just about every slipway and bridge there's another bunch of lorries waiting to join," Michael Taylor said.

Take a look at a video clip of the fuel protest in action along the A30:

Neil Hart, who operates a haulage company in Pool, Redruth, with 22 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) took part in the protest because he could no longer afford the fuel prices.

"In the past year it's cost £200,000 more in diesel," he said.

"That's about £16,000 a month extra and we just can't pass any more on to our customers.

"On just about every slipway and bridge there's another bunch of lorries waiting to join"

BBC Radio Cornwall Reporter Michael Taylor

"What we need is a rebate of 25p per litre."

Bill Harper, one of the organisers of the Devon protest, said although he was not planning to lay anybody off, he was worried about the situation.

He owns an animal feed business in Holsworthy and is responsible for more than 30 vehicles.

Mr Harper said the Devon protest was beginning to disperse, but about 250 drivers had sent a "short, sharp message" to the government.

"I'm pleased because the response from the public has been very supportive, despite the tailbacks," he said.

Motorist Pete Atkinson said: "Looking from the bridge at Launceston towards Lifton, there's just lorries as far as the eye can see.

"No-one's going anywhere fast."

Devon and Cornwall Police said despite traffic tailbacks, the protest passed off peacefully, with no incidents reported.

A spokesman said the convoy was kept to a single lane where possible to allow other road users to pass.

The protest, which was due to finish at lunchtime, continued until about 1530 BST.

Earlier this week, hundreds of road hauliers staged fuel protests in London and Cardiff.

They have said businesses are being driven to the wall by the high cost of diesel and have called on the government to abandon a planned 2p rise in fuel duty.

last updated: 10/07/2008 at 15:49
created: 10/07/2008

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