Thousands of motorists are expected to gather their winter fuel early this Christmas after information was released on a network of countrywide fuel protests that will begin this Saturday December 16.Protest group Transaction 2007 is organising simultaneous protests at many of the UK fuel refineries and storage depots starting this weekend. The actions are intended to persuade the fuel industry to drop UK forecourt prices, and Chancellor Alistair Darling to cut the 50.35p of tax it currently generates on every litre of low sulphur petrol and diesel sold in this country. However, the more marked effect of these protests is likely to be on British motorists, who are expected to rush to forecourts in their thousands this week, in an attempt to fill up before the fallout.
According to information on its website, Transaction 2007 is a protest group made up of hauliers and farmers aggrieved at the level of fuel duty they’re paying. It is, says the ‘site, what’s left of the group that organised blockades of fuel refineries and storage depots seven years ago, which caused nationwide problems with the supply of petrol and diesel.This year’s protests will be less severe: “it’s not our intention to bring the country to its knees as we did back in 2000,” the group says. The group is encouraging its members to “protest lawfully,” making their feelings known without disrupting the supply of fuel to and from the sites. However, even a limited disruption to supply, combined with the effect of panic buying from the public, could have a dramatic effect on the price and availability of fuel this Christmas.
Why this weekend?
The protests will come on what could be the busiest shopping day of 2007, just as many in the UK plan trips around the country over the Christmas break. Transaction 2007 claims the date was chosen “to enable those who would normally be working during the week to attend.” But why not wait until after the festive rush? When Autocar attempted to ask the question, no one was available at Transaction 2007 to explain.