RHA is calling on hauliers not to join convoys of protestors taking part in go-slow demonstrations against high fuel prices which kicked off today (4 July) on motorways across the UK.

The protestors are targeting three-lane motorways with the convoys driving slowly in two lanes - leaving the outside lane free.

The action, organised via social media under the banner Fuel Price Stand Against Tax, is calling for a further cut in fuel duty as fuel prices continue to rise.

However RHA is warning that the protests, which have created major tailbacks across multiple routes today, will create serious supply chain disruption and inconvenience the travelling public. It is urging hauliers to eschew direct action in favour of lobbying their MPs for a fuel duty rebate.

The protest comes as data specialist Experian reported that the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts had hit 191.5p and 199.0p for diesel on Sunday.

Rod McKenzie, RHA managing director of policy, said: “We fully sympathise and understand how people are struggling with fuel prices. However we do not support disruptive direct action.

"We are lobbying government for a 15p per litre fuel duty rebate for commercial vehicles and we are asking our members to write to their MPs to urge them to support this - but we do not support direct action which disrupts people’s lives and disrupts the supply chain.”

Some hauliers have joined the protest convoys. Scunthorpe truck driver Tariq Akram who took part in the protest today told the BBC his company had added £4,000 to its fuel bill in the past four months because of price rises.

Akram took part in a 50 vehicles go-slow convoy which travelled 60-miles through Scunthorpe and Doncaster at 20mph. He said: “The turnout was absolutely fantastic. There were 35 vehicles from our yard alone who took part," he said.

Former HGV driver Vicky Stamper, 41, from Cwmbran, also took part in the protests. She said she lost her job two weeks ago “because the company couldn't afford to put fuel in that many lorries so, last in first out,” she said.

Rob Hollyman, director of Youngs Transport said his company was not taking part but added that he supported the go-slow tactics to some extent.

He told BBC Essex: “I think a slow moving convoy on the A12 is going to cause us some pain as a business but it may help get a message through. The pain we are suffering longer term is far greater than the short term pain of one day.

“But I stress I do not support blockages of any kind – what happens when an emergency doctor is trying to get to somebody very quickly? It is just a non-starter as far as I am concerned.”

However he added: “If we could use a slow moving convoy in one lane at the A12 is very different to blocking the A12 and will get our message across as the media will be there taking pictures and it will be in people’s faces, which is what we need.”

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Howard Cox, founder of campaign group FairFuelUK, called for a reduction of at least 20p, warning that, whilst FairFuel UK does not support the protests, there was widespread support for them which, if ignored by the government, could result in "some serious escalation of protests".

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said he will carefully consider calls for a "more substantial" fuel duty cut after the 5p per litre reduction implemented in March failed to halt price rises.

A government spokesman said: "While we respect the right to protest, people's day-to-day lives should not be disrupted, especially on busy motorways where lives are put at risk and resulting traffic delays will only add to fuel use.”

Roads affected by the disruption today included the M4 and Prince of Wales Bridge across the River Severn which was closed earlier today in the eastbound direction.

Avon and Somerset Police reported slow-moving roadblocks on the M4, M5 and M32 whilst Devon and Cornwall Police also warned of a go-slow protest heading northbound from Exeter services of the M5 this morning. They also reported a second protest on the A38 heading north from Ivybridge, where a man in his 50s was arrested for driving at a “dangerously low speed.”

West Mercia Police said some tactics used during a protest on the M54 this morning had "compromised the safety of other road users" and warned that it would take action against those who committed traffic offences.

In Lincolnshire police blocked Junction One between the M180 and M18 to prevent protestors proceeding, whilst West Yorkshire police deployed a tyre deflator - known as a stinger - at the Ferrybridge services to deter protestors.

Roads affected by the protest today:

• the M5 in Devon

• the M32

• the A38

• the M180 in Lincolnshire

• the A12 in Essex

• the A92 in Scotland

• the A64 near York