Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 11:12 UK

Eyewitness: 'Still stranded'

Trucks in Salabrena. Picture sent by James Barber
James Barber spent the night in his truck.

Thousands of truck drivers in Spain have begun an indefinite strike over the rising price of diesel, which has risen by 20% this year.

James Barber, who works for a removal company based in Suffolk, England, is stranded in the middle of the protest. He got in touch with the BBC news website and describes the situation he is facing.

Read some of your comments


We are are still stranded in Salabrena and last night we slept in the truck. We can't complain, as we have all that we need, a microwave and a fridge.

We spoke to the leaders of the strike this morning and they said the government is not negotiating, so we are sitting tight.

Last night, one trucker tried to leave. The number of striking truckers on the picket line had gone down, so he had a go and drove through. The remaining strikers caught up with him and he had his truck's tyres slashed. Still, it has all been very amicable with us.

There are around 40 trucks in the car park where we are. About 75% of them are Spanish, and I think most of them just locked up their trucks and have gone home. The rest of us, who are British, Polish and German, have stayed in our cabs.

I've gone to the local supermarket and I can see no appreciable difference in stocks. I think it hasn't started to bite yet. Some people are panic buying, but it is still too early.

Although, watching the Spanish news, I can see that the situation here in the South is better than up North.


We hadn't gone more than 20 miles before we were stopped by some of the truckers in Salabrena, about 100 miles from Malaga. They said "you're not going any further" and took us to a car park, where all the strikers were gathered.

We told them that we had deliveries to make and they just said "no trucks on the road". It was a case of going with them or fight it out and have problems, so we took the more useful route and went to the car park.

We've been sitting here waiting for any developments. This morning they said it was going to last for one-to-three days, but they have now told us it will end tomorrow.

It all seems very amicable, there was a bit of tension this morning because there were a number of trucks trying to get through and they were rounding them up.

But there's been no hostility and it is rather good natured. People have told us over the phone that there have been some instances where trucks have been attacked, but we haven't had anything like that at all.

The price of diesel is horrific but it is worse in the UK than in Europe. I do have a lot of sympathy for what the protesters are trying to do, but unfortunately the case is that I still have a job to do and I still have to get home.

Read how the strike is affecting supermarkets and petrol stations

Have you been affected by the Spanish hauliers' strike? Send your pictures and moving footage to

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Read a selection of your comments on this story:

Here in El Puerto de Santa Maria we are affected by the truck strike which is blocking traffic and also by the fisherman's strike which is also blocking traffic. This morning it was difficult to leave the town as the different groups blockadded the main town exits. Today fresh food is scarce in some of the super markets. Even yesterday several were without eggs, milk and bread. Several petrols stations are now out of diesel fuel.
Andi Roberts, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain

On the way down from France this morning, there was a 15 kms lorry queue on 'the french side'... when I got to the border my pick up was 'checked' for goods and let through, but I did lose nearly 1 hour in the process... can't see the point of holding up people like me who have nothing to do with the prices of petrol... ?
Jim, Oviedo, Spain

I am stuck in the fuel blockaade in Maureillas Las-Illas and sitting in an idyllic location. But we have only the web for info. We have been given water and a ham roll so far. The lack of info is the most frustrating.
Mark Viccars, Sittingbourne, Kent

I am currently sat in the port of Tarifa waiting for a ferry to Morcco for a business meeting and have been told that the ferry service is cancelled from lack of fuel! There were queues in every fuel station I have passed from Marbella, so this is very real, panic buying or not, the strike is having the desired effect.
Simon M, Spain

We move approximately 20 loads a week of food to Spain for the supermarkets and I have 10 trucks stuck in blockades since Sunday. If this continues more companies will fold as they are weekly now, we as transporters are ignored
Stephen Atkinson, Milton Keynes, UK

There are no trucks moving on the roads at all where it live. The supermarket is running out of milk and items that come from distribution centres but fresh fruit and veg are still ok as most people in the region grow their own anyway. But I have relatives arriving tomorrow and I have one tank of fuel to collect them from and deliver them to the airport. I must admit that car hire firms will very soon be in difficulty as arriving tourists will not be able to collect cars with fuel in them very soon. It is a big worry for me as I live 11 km from the nearest town.
Michael Rees, Villafranca de los Barros, Spain

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