Fuel protest in Norfolk

DOZENS of haulage firms took part in a second go slow in Norfolk on the A47 today as part of a nationwide protest at rising fuel prices.

DOZENS of haulage firms took part in a second go slow in Norfolk on the A47 today as part of a nationwide protest at rising fuel prices

Traffic was delayed on the A47 around Norwich as around 50 lorries and cars were driven in a slow moving convoy along the inside lane as part of the protest.

The hauliers are calling on the government to cut fuel duty which they say coupled with high world oil prices is threatening the future of the industry.

As well as hauliers, other motorists affected by the soaring costs of petrol and diesel joined the convoys of vehicles with two separate groups of trucks leaving from Postwick and the Norfolk Showground simultaneously at 8am.

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Organiser Gary Cooper, owner of Wymondham-based paving firm Gary Cooper Paving, estimated there were at least 40 vehicles outside the showground and a further 40 at the Postwick site.

However, police said the actual figure was closer to 50 vehicles.

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He said: “We have tried to get as many people as possible, hauliers, coach people, we even have a skip coming along as well as people who have to do a lot of mileage in their cars such as carers and midwives. We have a real cross section of people here, farmers, driving schools, which shows just how much this is affecting everyone.”

A spokesman for Norfolk police, which monitored the convoy, said: “We wanted to make sure disruption was kept to a minimum.”

The protest is part of action nationwide against the soaring cost of fuel.

In London, the Road Haulage Association, the lobby group TransAction 2007, the Transport Association and other industry bodies made their voices heard as trucks from all parts of the country made their way to the M40 Westway where, in co-operation with the Metropolitan Police, they parked on a specially sectioned part of the motorway.

The groups were due to be led en masse by a police motorcyclist down through the streets of the Capital to Westminster; the first convoy being expected to cross Westminster Bridge.

In addition to the vehicle convoy, there was also be a 'foot' lobby of Parliament.

Road Haulage Association national Chairman Andy Boyle, said: "I am absolutely delighted that so many sections of the UK transport industry have united in such a positive way. If ever there was positive proof that ours is an industry in crisis then this surely must be it.”

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