12 April 1999
Farmers help jam London streets

By Johann Tasker

PIG producers have joined hundreds of lorry drivers in Central London and brought the roads around Hyde Park and Park Lane to a complete standstill.

The farmers are using off-road vehicles to block the perimeter of the park, jamming the roads and causing chaos to commuters and tourists.

Both groups of protesters claim they are seriously disadvantaged by policies which give overseas competitors the edge over their British counterparts.

The lorry drivers claim they cannot compete with European hauliers because last months Budget increased British fuel costs by more than 6%.

The farmers claim British pig production costs are being forced up by strict animal welfare rules introduced by the government in January.

A similar protest last month by lorry drivers brought many streets to a standstill but failed to wring any concessions from the government.

Todays protest has won the backing of the Road Haulage Association but the National Farmers Union has distanced itself from the action.