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A55 fuel protest set to bring Flintshire traffic to a standstill

A HUGE ‘go-slow’ protest over the cost of fuel is to bring traffic on the main road through Flintshire to a halt this weekend.

Cars, vans and trucks are expected to join a protest along the A55 on Sunday, May 8, when vehicles will travel at 25mph to Stanlow oil refinery to protest about rising fuel costs.

And members of the Stanlow Fuel Protest and Direct Action Group, Kevin Bowker, from Saltney Ferry, and Ian Charlesworth, of Hawarden, are warning that petrol stations could be dry by Monday as they begin a blockade at the refinery.

Mr Charlesworth has warned motorists they should fill their tanks this week as protesters are ready for a long stay.

He said: “The gloves are off. We’re prepared to hold Stanlow as long as we can. Hopefully we’ll get into a no fuel situation.

“People need to fill up Thursday, Friday, Saturday because there won’t be any fuel on Monday.

“As responsible, peaceful protesters we believe it is only right for us to inform the public to fuel up.”

The Welsh convoy will meet in Llandudno at 11.30am and travel past Holywell and Flint on the A55 before joining the A494 down the Aston Hill and travelling on to the refinery.

It will join with groups in convoy from Manchester and Liverpool before arriving at Stanlow at 2.30pm for what organisers hope will be the biggest protest there in years.

Mr Bowker said he hoped between 1,000 and 3,000 people would join the protest and show their support.

“We are encouraging drivers across Flintshire to come out in their vehicles and join the queue to show their support,” he said.

“Rising fuel costs are a real problem for everyone, not just drivers. The price of food is going up because it is more expensive to transport it and small businesses are being forced to close down because they can’t afford to run their vehicles.”

Mr Bowker hopes that the coalition Government will take notice of the campaign and lower fuel taxes.

“This is going to be huge,” he said. “It will cause massive disruption but it has to be done, current fuel prices are ridiculous.”

Once at Stanlow a group of protestors said they will block the gates of the site.

“We will let emergency vehicles through and a tanker of fuel for emergency services, but no one else. We are hoping that this will get the message across.”

Police said they are liaising with partner agencies to ensure the demonstration can pass peacefully, safely and legally.