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Encyclopedia > UK fuel protest
 This article documents a current event.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

The term UK fuel protest refers to a series of protests held in the United Kingdom over the cost of petrol. The first protests were held in September 2000, whereby tankers were prevented from reaching petrol stations. Further protests took place in September 2005, and though these have not blocked the tankers, panic-buying caused around 3000 stations to run dry [1]. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Ongoing events • Abramoff-Reed gambling scandal • Dengue outbreak in Singapore • Edinburgh Festival • Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan • Fuel prices • Gomery Comm. ... Demonstrators march through the intersection of 18th and M Streets NW in Washington DC at the A16 demonstration against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 16, 2005. ... Gasoline, as it is known in North America, or petrol, in many Commonwealth countries (sometimes also called motor spirit) is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting primarily of hydrocarbons, used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ... 2000 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December This is a timeline for events in September, 2000. ... Modern filling station A filling station, gas station or petrol station is a facility that sells fuel and lubricants for road motor vehicles – usually gasoline, diesel fuel, and liquified petroleum gas (LPG). ... Ongoing events • 2005 Kuomintang visits to Mainland • Bill C-38 (Canada gay marriage) • German Visa Affair 2005 • Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan • Fuel prices • Election of OAS Secretary General • Stanislav Gross scandal in Czech republic Upcoming events Deaths in May May 3: Jagjit Singh Aurora May 3: Don Canham May...

Contents


September 2000 protests

Protests began on 5 September 2000 when an increase in the price of crude oil prompted major oil companies to announce an increase in the price of petrol to around £0.81 GBP per litre of unleaded (at that time around $4.48 per US gallon). The following day a number of lorries blockaded the entrance to the British side of the Channel Tunnel, causing heavy delays on the M20 motorway. The following day a further group of protesters, again from the haulage industry, blockaded the Stanlow Shell Oil refinery near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... This article is about the year 2000. ... Nodding donkey pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario, 2001 Petroleum (from Latin petrus – rock and oleum – oil), mineral oil, or crude oil, sometimes colloquially called black gold, is a thick, dark brown or greenish flammable liquid, which exists in the upper strata of some areas of the Earths... GBP may be: short for Game Boy Player the ISO currency code for the British Pound Sterling. ... The litre (spelled liter in American English) is a metric unit of volume. ... Gasoline, as it is known in North America, or petrol, in many Commonwealth countries (sometimes also called motor spirit) is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting primarily of hydrocarbons, used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ... The gallon (abbr. ... Channel Tunnel The English terminal at Cheriton, from the Pilgrims Way The Channel Tunnel, (French: le tunnel sous la Manche; once popularly nicknamed the Chunnel in English) is a 50-km-long rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Straits of Dover, connecting Cheriton in Kent, England and Coquelles... The M20 motorway is a major road in England. ... A Shell petrol station sign in the UK The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies (called Shell Oil in North America), has its headquarters split between the Shell Centre in London, United Kingdom and The Hague, Netherlands. ... Arms of Ellesmere Port Town Council Location within the British Isles. ... This article is about the English county. ...


During the protests, the oil industry was the target of some anger due to a perceived failure to pass on reductions in the price of crude oil to the consumer and a readiness to increase prices. However, concern over the government's fuel tax policy has been the primary cause behind some protests; three-quarters of the cost of petrol in the UK is tax (in the form of fuel duty or value added tax), somewhat higher than the European average, and dramatically higher than other developed countries such as the United States and Australia. The fuel protesters said that this disparity was making it increasingly difficult for the British haulage industry to remain competitive with their European rivals, especially since the introduction of the European free market on 31 December 1992. The situation led to a difficult position for the oil companies: it was actually perhaps in their long-term interest to support the protesters because if the pressure on the Government succeeded in reducing fuel tax, then consumers would likely buy more petrol, increasing profits for the oil companies. Because of the temporary chaos that ensued it was politically impossible for the companies to come out in support of the protestors, although some commentators suggested that they did not do all they could to get lorries carrying fuel through the assembled protesters. The oil companies responded to such claims with the argument that lorries could have got through the protesters at some depots, but they refused to do so for the safety of the drivers. // Introduction A fuel tax (also known as a petrol tax, gasoline tax, gas tax or fuel duty) is a sales tax imposed on the sale of fuel. ... Value added tax (VAT) is a sales tax levied on the sale of goods and services. ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1992 was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ...


By Sunday 10 September 2000, six of the eight major oil refineries around the country had been blockaded by protesters. Drivers, realizing that no new petrol would be supplied to petrol stations, started panic-buying petrol while it was still available. This itself had the effect of hastening a petrol shortage because petrol stations operate a tight Just In Time policy in order to minimize operating costs which does not allow for rapid surges in demand. Some economists chastised the government for calling the phenomenon "panic buying", saying that on the contrary the behaviour was rational in the circumstances. Local radio stations ran phone-ins advising drivers where fuel had not sold out. September 10 is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years). ... This article is about the year 2000. ... See also Just-in-time for the compiler system in computing. ...


By Tuesday 12 September 2000, one third of all stations in the country were reported to be completely without fuel. Various reports indicated between 75% and 90% of stations were closed at some point during the crisis; many stations closed before they were completely empty in order to lengthen the time for which they could supply emergency services. On the morning of the 12th Tony Blair was driven back to London from Newcastle in order to deal with growing chaos. Many commentators were keen to point out the high fuel consumption rate of his Jaguar, though others regarded this as opportunistic. Some health authorities cancelled non-essential operations to reduce ambulance movement. Later in the day Blair held meetings with the UK chairmen of the oil companies and on the evening news announced that measures were being taken to clear the blockades and that the "situation would begin to return to normal tomorrow". Blair and John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, said that the Government would not be bounced into a "rash decision" on fuel tax because of the protesters. September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... This article is about the year 2000. ... The Right Honourable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953 in Edinburgh, Scotland) is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. ... John Prescott The Right Honourable John Leslie Prescott (born May 31, 1938) is a British Labour Party politician who is presently Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and First Secretary of State. ...


Aftermath

Once the safety of the lorry drivers was guaranteed by a heavy police presence at the refineries and depots, and noting a shift in public opinion that had earlier been firmly behind the protesters, the blockades dissipated rapidly on Wednesday morning. The protesters said that they were giving the government sixty days to act on the issue or they would protest further.


In November, just before the sixty day deadline, there was some further panic buying reported in East Kilbride and Glasgow. In fact such buying turned out not to be necessary; although truckers mounted slow-moving protests along motorways converging on London over the 13th and 14th of November, the renewed protest did not gather much support. Chancellor Gordon Brown had announced in his pre-Budget report published the week beforehand that fuel duty was to be frozen for two years, perhaps eroding some of the support base for the strikes. By Christmas extra production by OPEC members had brought the price of crude oil down, which in turn led to petrol price reductions. East Kilbride (Cille Bhrìghde an Ear in Scottish Gaelic) is a town in West Central Scotland, about 10 miles south of Glasgow. ... Glasgows location in Scotland Glasgow (or Glaschu in Gaelic) is Scotlands largest city, situated on the River Clyde in the countrys west central lowlands. ... This article is about the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. ... Logo The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is made up of Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela; since 1965, its international headquarters have been in Vienna, Austria. ...


A report published by the Department for Transport said that at the protest's peak, 14th September, motorway traffic was 40% below normal levels and non-motorway traffic 25% below.


The protests were organised by Richard Haddock, David Handley and Brynle Williams. Williams later became a member of the Welsh Assembly for the Conservative party. In May 2004, with crude oil and petrol prices edging ahead of their September 2000 levels, fuel prices again hit the public agenda, with some suggesting further protests may be imminent. The National Assembly for Wales (or NAW) (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) was established in 1998, following a 1997 referendum in which a small majority of voters (but not the electorate) voted in favour of the Labour Governments plans for devolution. ...


By August 2005, fuel prices had risen far above those that triggered the 2000 fuel protest without any further disruption, to an average of more than £0.90 GBP per litre (US$1.64 per litre, or $6.21 per US gallon).


September 2005 protests

Tempers flare during long queues outside a Birmingham petrol station, 12 September 2005.
Tempers flare during long queues outside a Birmingham petrol station, 12 September 2005.

In September 2005, petrol increased in price to record British highs. While a small number of stations were charging over £1 a litre (BBC) (as some had before), the average price had for the first time reached over 90p a litre in August 2005, and had continued to climb beyond, reaching an average of over 93p per litre before the start of September. Image File history File links Summary Petrol Rage Tempers flare in a long line of people queueing for petrol in Birmingham, England. ... Image File history File links Summary Petrol Rage Tempers flare in a long line of people queueing for petrol in Birmingham, England. ... This article is about the city in England. ... September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... September is the ninth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four Gregorian months with 30 days. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The BBC reported on 7 September 2005 that the group responsible for the blockades in September 2000 was threatening to stage protests at oil refineries from 0600 BST on 14 September 2005 unless reductions in petrol prices were made. Petrol prices had risen due to increased American demand, after Hurricane Katrina forced the evacuation of a number of oil rigs and refineries. Corporate logo of the British Broadcasting Corporation The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the national publicly funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. ... September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... British Summer Time (BST), known in Ireland as Irish Summer Time (IST), is the daylight saving time in effect in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October each year. ... September 14 is the 257th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (258th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 29, 2005, was one of the most destructive and expensive tropical cyclones to hit the United States. ... Natural gas drilling rig A drilling rig or oil rig is a structure housing equipment used to drill for and extract oil or natural gas from underground reservoirs. ... View of the Tosco (ex Valero, originally Shell) Martinez oil refinery An oil refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into useful petroleum products. ...


Newspapers reported that on 10 September 2005, the UK government had drawn up contingency plans to maintain the supply of fuel, including using 1000 army drivers to operate tankers and to introduce fuel rationing [2]. September 10 is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


As a result of public fears caused by the announcements of plans to stage protests at refineries and potential fuel rationing, (and because they did not want to be left without petrol as occurred in the previous protest), by 1300 BST on 12 September 2005 long queues, or lines formed outside petrol stations across Britain, with problems worsening the following day. Such queues often led to drivers having to wait over an hour to fill their vehicles with petrol. At its height, around 3,000 petrol stations were emptied of fuel by panic buying. September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For queueing people, see queue area. ...


However, on 14 September 2005, only a small number of protestors arrived at the refineries with no intention to start blockading the entrances. The UK Petroleum Industry Association said the day's protest had proved "thankfully amazingly quiet", with the largest event, attended by People's Fuel Lobby leader Andrew Spence, attracting just 10 protestors at its peak. At the Stanlow oil refinery, which was blockaded in 2000, only two protestors attended the demonstration. The protest was subsequently ridiculed by the media and appeared to lack public support. These lower numbers may be because many lorry drivers who took part in the 2000 protest failed to attend, partly due to the circumstances which caused the price rise, and partly due to announced police measures, including plans to confiscate the vehicles and driving licenses of any protesters who acted illegally (BBC). September 14 is the 257th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (258th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...


References

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