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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 May 2008, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Why are lorry drivers protesting?
By Tamasin Ford
Newsbeat reporter

Fuel protestors

Hundreds of lorry drivers have been protesting at the rising cost of fuel.

They've been clogging up the M4 in Wales as well as the A40 into London to try to get their message across to the Government.

Chris is a trucker from Kent.

He said: "Nobody wants to protest, we just want to go to work. But how can we keep going on like this?"

Diesel now costs anywhere up to 140p a litre, while unleaded can be as much as 126p a litre.

We've seen diesel go up by 100 extra per tank in just a few months. How can we keep going on like this?
Trucker Chris from Kent
The hike in prices is all down to the rising costs of crude oil around the world.

That's not something the Government can do much about.

But the UK has the highest fuel tax duty in Europe.

With VAT on top, it's more than 65p a litre.

This is why lorry drivers are so angry.

"We've seen diesel go up by 100 extra per tank in just a few months. How can we keep going on like this?" said Chris.

"Well, it costs me 500 now to fill my tank up. I'd say a month ago it was probably just over 400."

Government rebate

Ministers could choose to freeze a planned 2p rise in fuel duty scheduled for October.

But lorry drivers are calling on the Government to give them a 25p fuel tax rebate on every litre.

Fuel protestor
Hundreds of lorries have been parked on the A40 in London
They say if something's not done about it soon, it'll drive many off the roads.

Trucker Steve's already seen that at his company in Southampton.

He said: "They've just taken three lorries off the road, laid off two drivers and tried to stick more work on the other lorries who are left.

"They can't go on forever sticking 300-400 in every few days just to keep the trucks rolling."

He said: "It's costing my company an extra 500-600 a month just to run my truck.

"There are about 40 trucks so if you multiply that number by 40, that's a lot of money."

The soaring fuel prices aren't just affecting truckers, everyone's feeling the pinch.

Joanne Baldrick's a mum of three from Chelmsford.

She said: "It's affecting our lives. I'm not driving so much in the week.

"I'm staying at home because I can't afford the extra mileage so not visiting friends and family, just the basic school runs and shopping."

Lorries on the A40 in London
Welsh hauliers are giving the prime minister seven days to cut fuel duty
Companies are having to offset the cost of fuel onto their customers, but for smaller businesses it's not so easy.

Jeff's a floor layer from Epping in Essex.

He said: "I'm just getting less profit. I can't keep putting my prices up the whole time. People just won't pay it so I end up suffering."

He said in his mind, there was only one solution.

"It's got to be made cheaper; it's as simple as that at the end of the day."



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