Page last updated at 23:49 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 00:49 UK

Refinery protest over fuel prices

Stanlow Oil Refinery, Cheshire
Lorries had queued up outside the plant

About 100 farmers and hauliers have staged a demonstration outside the Stanlow Oil Refinery at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire over rising fuel prices.

Protesters stood at the entrance of the plant and had blocked about 50 lorries from entering by about 2300 BST.

Cheshire police said they were notified just after 2030 BST and officers were called to the scene.

The protesters later moved off the road and vehicles were moving freely in and out of the refinery.

Police said about 40 or 50 protesters remained at the refinery's gates until the early hours of Friday.

The Stanlow plant was at the centre of the fuel protests in 2000 that caused some stations to run out of petrol.

'Massive profits'

One of the hauliers told the BBC: "It's affecting all of us. It's not just hauliers and farmers - although they are being crippled by the costs - it's going to have a knock on effect on everyone - in rising fuel costs and higher prices of food on the shelves in shops."

A protester said hauliers and farmers were being made bankrupt while companies still made a profit.

He said: "People are going out of business left, right and centre and no-one seems to care.

"Oil companies are still announcing massive profits and the government are taking massive amounts of tax - and they want to put another 2p on in October.

"They've got to bring it down it down again. Something must be done or this country's industry will be lost."

Police said the protest was peaceful and no arrests had been made.

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