Lorry drivers to shut down London roads in protest

lorry.jpgLorry drivers are to pour into London tomorrow for what organisers hope will be the largest-ever fuel duty protest in the capital. Hauliers are angry at soaring fuel prices which have resulted in the average cost of diesel passing far beyond the 120p-a-litre mark.

Led by lorry drivers from Kent, the protest is expected to attract hundreds of hauliers from all around the UK.

The convoy will make its way to central London, parking close to Marble Arch.

Transport for London has said the A40 will be closed between White City and Edgware Road in west London tomorrow from 10am until 3pm so the demonstrators can park their lorries.

The westbound carriageway of the A40, going out of London, will remain open.

A delegation from the demonstrators will hand in a letter to 10 Downing Street demanding the immediate introduction of an essential user rebate which would allow heavy goods vehicles to claim some of the fuel duty back.

Mike Presneill, a leading member of Transaction 2007, who is helping to organise the protest, said: “Fuel is rocketing. The Government has the power to act but appears not to be listening. Hundreds of UK transport firms are being driven to the wall.

“Thousands of UK jobs are being lost.

“Foreign hauliers are entering the UK with cheaper fuel purchased abroad.

“They contribute nothing to our economy. We are paying the highest rate of fuel duty in the UK. All we are asking for is that the Government introduce an essential user rebate so that we can compete on a level playing field with continental hauliers.”

Kent-based haulier Peter Knight said: “This is the economics of the mad house. If the Prime Minister doesn’t listen the Government will lose out.

“As UK hauliers we pay enormous amounts of tax to the UK Exchequer – we pay employment tax, road tax and of course fuel duty. If we are wiped out, the work will be done by foreign hauliers who pay nothing to the UK in tax. It is madness.”

Bracing itself: London is expecting an invasion of 1,000 truckers in th latest round of fuel protests

Bracing itself: London is expecting an invasion of 1,000 truckers in the latest round of fuel protests