Police warn of travel disruption over plans for M4 roadblock over fuel prices

1 July 2022, 14:55 | Updated: 1 July 2022, 14:59

Protests to cause disruption to Monday commuters and British Grand Prix
Protests to cause disruption to Monday commuters and British Grand Prix. Picture: Alamy/Twitter

By Cameron Kerr

Police forces either side of the Prince of Wales Bridge have asked the public to "consider working from home" due to expected traffic disruption from planned fuel costs protests on Monday.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary today warned journey times on motorways on Monday could be "longer than usual" if protesters block roads.

Roadblocks are expected at several sites, including on the Prince of Wales Bridge which connects the M4 between England and Wales, between 7am and 7pm on Monday.

Protesters said they would block most of the road's lanes but leave one useable traffic lane open for each direction of travel.

They are protesting the rising cost of fuel which now costs on average 203.79 pence per litre, according to recent RAC estimates.

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Organisers wrote on a Facebook event page: "An awful lot of moaning About Fuel Prices and not enough action.

"Typical of Britain. Complain while we roll over and take it.

"So why not get the whole country on Monday the 4th of July from 6am to take our cars, lorries, tractors what ever we have and cause roadblocks all over the country until there is change?"

They go on to note that French motorists held similar protests when their fuel costs were at a lower price than is currently being seen in the UK.

Avon and Somerset Police said: "People have a right to peaceful protest and liaison teams from both Gwent and Avon and Somerset have been working to understand campaigners’ plans so public safety is maintained and to reduce disruption to others.

"Nevertheless, drivers can expect journey times will likely be longer than normal, especially on motorways and main roads during the busiest times of the day."

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Protests are also expected to take place on the M48 on the Severn Bridge further north, while bus company First Essex has warned of possible fuel protests on the A12 in and around Colchester.

The protests are set to take place a day after the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday, where activists are expected to try to invade the racetrack.

Northamptonshire Police said it has uncovered "credible evidence" protestors are planning to invade the circuit on race-day and have urged protestors not to put themselves, or drivers and track marshals at risk.

Event Commander, Chief Inspector Tom Thompson, said: "Going onto a live racetrack is extremely dangerous – if you go ahead with this reckless plan you are jeopardising lives.

"Protesting is of course everyone’s human right in this country and we are more than happy to speak with you to help you facilitate a peaceful protest at the circuit, we just please ask that you do not create a situation that puts lives in danger."

The force have drafted in additional resources for the event in case protestors do attempt a track invasion.

"The security measures we have put in place are as stringent as ever and anyone thinking of taking advantage of the race weekend to commit a crime will be caught," the statement added.

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