11 September 2000
Fishermen to join farmer fuel protests

By FWi staff

FISHERMEN are due to team up with farmers and hauliers on Monday (11September) to protest against fuel prices.

The groups will target oil company operations in Plymouth, reports BBC Online.

This widening of the protests comes as supplies of petrol and diesel run low in some parts of the country.

The campaign, which began when farmers blockaded the Shell Stanlow refinery in Cheshire on Thursday (07 Sep), now affects six of Britains nine refineries.

Four of the main distribution depots have also been targeted.

Shell has announced that 100 of its garages in the north west have run dry and warns all its petrol stations in the area may be empty by Tuesday.

The Farmers For Action group has also been demonstrating at dairy companies.

FFA chairman David Handley defended his groups actions.

We have total sympathy for all the public but the situation has arisen now to such a level that something has to be done, he told the BBC Radio Four Farming Today programme.

He said it was a misconception to focus on the fact that red diesel, which is used in agricultural machinery, was not taxed at the same rate as petrol,

Mr Handley said red diesel was used by equipment which did not have the freedom to go wherever it wanted.

In any case, his own red diesel price had jumped 50% in nine months, he added.

He said dairies were targeted because farmers feared they would end up with a lower price for their product as a result of fuel tax increases.

Mr Handley vowed protests would continue until the government agreed to talks on prices.