Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 11:36 UK

Truckers in diesel price protest

diesel protest
Organiser TransAction was among those behind fuel protests in 2000

Lorry drivers protesting against the "rocketing" price of diesel have arrived in a convoy in central London.

About 65 vehicles converged in Park Lane in protest at a 30% rise in diesel pump prices in 12 months.

The organisers presented a coffin to the Houses of Parliament to represent hundreds of haulage firms they claim have gone bankrupt as a result.

It follows a 48-hour strike at Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland in a dispute over pension changes.

Tuesday's protest has been organised by TransAction 2007, one of the groups behind fuel protests in 2000 which caused 90% of petrol stations to run dry.

The convoy started off in Kent and headed up M2 motorway into the capital.

Truckers take their protest to Parliament

Organisers said fuel for a typical articulated lorry now costs up to 1,000 per week.

The problem was exacerbated by foreign hauliers who arrive in the UK "full to the brim with cheaper fuel", spokesman Mike Presneill said.

"Our industry is the lifeblood of the UK economy," he added.

"Fuel is rising on a daily basis. It is now at levels that are bankrupting hundreds of small and medium-sized haulage companies."

First to arrive was driver Mick Clifton, 37, who works for the JS Cook company based at Moulton Chapel in Lincolnshire.

We just don't know whether our jobs are going to be safe
Driver Mick Clifton

He said: "The price of fuel at the moment is ridiculous. We just don't know whether our jobs are going to be safe.

"If Gordon Brown doesn't do something about this soon he'll be out of office."

The Road Haulage Association's chief executive Roger King has urged the government to abandon plans to raise fuel duty by 2p next October.

He said: "We support a peaceful and legal protest and that is what this is. We think such an exercise helps underscore the real feelings hauliers have."

Protesters have also handed a letter summarising their grievances to the Houses of Parliament, together with a copy of the 2005 Burns Inquiry.

The independent inquiry into the effect of fuel taxation found that the level of diesel duty in the UK was higher than the average EU rate.

Oil refinery talks as strike ends
29 Apr 08 |  Tayside and Central
Fuel costs force haulier to close
14 Apr 08 |  North East Wales

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