-Petrol protest

Modern protest

man sitting in the road to block lorries

Driver in the middle of a central London street. © Reuters/Corbis. Image number: UT0042175. Photographer: Reuters/ Ferran Paredes.

In recent times the rising cost of petrol and diesel has led to widespread protests. These protests almost brought the country to a standstill in September 2000. Ministers were called to cut petrol duties, which were described as "very unfair and very unjust..." by a campaign spokesman.

The news reported hundreds of petrol stations running dry. Other petrol stations resorted to rationing. Panic buying didn't make the situation any easier. The Director of Petrol Retailers Association even warned that supplies to hospitals and industry could be affected.

The protests took many forms across Britain, such as:

  • A blockade by hauliers, which closed the largest inland oil terminal at Kingsbury, West Midlands.
  • A slow moving lorry convey in Edinburgh during rush hour, which led to huge traffic problems.
  • Six out of the nine UK oil refineries were blockaded by lorry drivers and farmers.

The government was forced to respond and delayed a future rise in duty on fuel.