A PRESSURE group could attempt to blockade Shell’s Stanlow oil refinery unless the Government agrees to talks over soaring fuel prices.
Protesters from Transaction 2007 have vowed to step up their action in the New Year, despite failing to mount their planned demonstration outside the Oil Sites Road site on Saturday morning.
Less than 10 campaigners met at the M56 Hapsford Services, near Ellesmere Port, where they were greeted by a huge media presence, before deciding to abandon plans to move on to Stanlow.
Despite the low turnout, protest co-ordinator and Sandbach farmer Tom Houghton was adamant the gathering had been a success.
He said: “It’s been a disappointing response but we’ve put the issue back on the political agenda. The ball is now in the Government’s court.
“We wanted to send a message to them to get in negotiations with us. We hope by the beginning of January we’ll have heard some noises from the Government.
“If not, we will sit down together and then step up our action in the New Year. We don’t want it to come to that but sooner or later we’re going to see major disruption.”
When asked whether police could thwart a blockade of the Stanlow refinery, Mr Houghton responded: “We would be better equipped this time because we’ve already done it. We were there at 5am in 2000 and nobody knew anything about it.”
Back then protesters carried out a high-profile blockade of the refinery for nearly a week and caused panic petrol buying across the UK.
So far more than 3,000 people, mostly farmers and hauliers, have registered with Transaction 2007’s website.
With petrol prices now well exceeding £1 per litre, they are calling on the Government to cut fuel duty as they struggle to meet costs.