Protests against soaring fuel prices planned for Monday

Fuel prices at BP in Martlesham

Fuel prices at BP in Martlesham - Credit: Archant

Motorists could face disruption on major roads in Suffolk and Essex on Monday after plans for demonstrations against soaring fuel prices circulated on social media. 

Protesters are planning to block the A12 at Colchester during the morning rush hour as part of the UK-wide 'Stand Up to Fuel Prices' campaign. 

A poster for the demonstration urged protesters to meet at Colchester United's stadium at 6am on Monday to block the A12 from 7am. 

Organisers reminded participants to "leave space between the cars for emergency services to get through". 

Essex Police said it is aware of the potential protest and has made plans "to minimise disruption". 

A spokesman for the force said: "We have been made aware of social media posts relating to a potential protest on Monday, July 4.

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Protesters are planning a demonstration on the A12 against high fuel prices - Credit: PA

"We are monitoring the event and have made plans to minimise disruption, keep people safe, and keep Essex moving."

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Social media posts about potential protests on roads in Suffolk have also been circulating on social media. 

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “We are aware of discussions across social media platforms relating to planned national protest against fuel costs on July 4 and this includes such activity on roads within Suffolk.

"The constabulary has carefully assessed this planned activity and has appropriate responses in place.”

Meanwhile, fuel thefts from UK filling stations have reached record levels amid soaring pump prices.

Industry body the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said drive-off incidents - where a motorist fills up and makes no attempt to pay before leaving - have increased by 61% so far this year, compared with the same period in 2021.

Fuel Pump

Essex Police said it is aware of the planned protest against rising fuel prices - Credit: Archant

PRA executive director Gordon Balmer described the number of thefts as "going through the roof" with "10 incidents a day" being reported.

There has also been a surge in verbal abuse towards forecourt staff by drivers angry at pump prices.

Darren Briggs, chief executive of Ascona Group, which owns 59 filling stations across the UK, including one in Saxmundham, said: "We've had a huge increase of staff abuse at forecourt level.

"We're getting reports virtually every week of customers being quite abusive because of what they're seeing at the pole sign."

He added: "It is tough out there to explain to customers how the market operates."

Figures from data firm Experian show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new high of 191.2p on Tuesday.

The average price of diesel was 199.0p per litre, a fraction of a penny below the record of 199.1p per litre set on Saturday.