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Hawarden trucker leads second Stanlow fuel demonstration

FUEL tax campaigners stepped up their protest with a blockade at the Stanlow oil refinery.

Almost 60 cars left Hapsford Services near Chester at 7.30pm on Friday on a go-slow to Stanlow oil refinery via Ellesmere Port town centre.

It was the second protest outside the refinery in less than a month spearheaded by Hawarden trucker Ian Charlesworth, who said the event was a success.

He added: “The town came out in force. About 60 cars left Hapsford and more joined along the way.

“We had people coming out of pubs and shops along the way to applaud us.

“It was chucking it down, but we stuck at it and we managed to stop tankers entering or leaving the site for four hours.”

However Shell spokesman Ed Brady said the protest ‘had no impact’ on the company’s operations.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police added: “The event passed without incident and no arrests were made.”

Protesters said they intend to keep campaigning and a handful of people, led by Mr Charlesworth, staged an unannounced protest at Stanlow on Monday.

The group, who claim to have turned two tankers away from the site before police arrived, started their protest at 7.30pm, but were moved on about an hour later.

Commenting on the possibility of strike action by members of drivers’ union Unite over pay and conditions, Mr Charlesworth added: “Even tanker drivers are saying they are going to strike, so it’s only a matter of time before the Government has to reduce fuel tax.

“We intend to keep campaigning until prices come down.”

The distribution companies invited to talks with Unite are Wincanton, Hoyer, DHL, BP, TDG, Sucklings and Turners.

The next protest at Stanlow, operated by Shell UK, is scheduled to take place on March 11.