14 September 2000
Confusion over future of fuel protest

By FWi staff

FARMERS and hauliers are reported to be calling off their fuel price protests in some refineries and depots, but at others seem determined to fight on.

Protesters at key sites Stanlow in Cheshire, where action began, and at Grangemouth, Stirlingshire are said to be standing down.

The BBC reports that the blockade at Plymouths Cattedown fuel depot and protests in Cardiff are expected to come to an end in a few hours time.

But demonstrators in Kingsbury in the Midlands, Trafford Park in Manchester, Jarrow in the north east Southampton and Essex seem determined to carry on.

Welsh farmers leader Brynle Williams announced early on Thursday (14 Sept) morning that the protest in Stanlow was over.

Mr Williams said he had told the government it must cut fuel taxes within 60 days and that protests would be renewed if it refused.

He also wants urgent meetings with transport and agriculture ministers

But it is unclear how much authority Mr Williams has over protesters.

On Wednesday Mr Williams conceded the blockade had been broken after lorries left Stanlow, only to be contradicted by fellow protesters Farmers For Action.

FFA chairman David Handley insisted the direct action would continue and protests remained strong throughout the day.

An estimated 90% of Britains petrol stations have run dry and supermarket shelves stripped bare as shoppers panic buy.

Supermarket chain Sainsburys has warned that it would run out of food “within days”.