A FUEL protest that had threatened to bring Britain to a halt went down like an unleaded balloon on Sunday (May 8).
Despite protestors claiming up to 1,000 vehicles would block the gate at Stanlow refinery and prevent fuel tankers from reaching petrol stations on Sunday, a constant flow of tankers ere travelling in an out of the refinery all day. About 120 vehicles were involved, according to police.
Before the protest, Ian Charlesworth, of the Stanlow Fuel Protest and Direct Action Group, said five separate protests would converge on Shell and petrol pumps on Monday would run dry, but in the event only two turned up – from Manchester and Llandudno.
They then parked at the roadside and began a foot protest.
He also claimed protestors would camp out at the site until demands for fuel duty to be lowered were met by the Government.
But by Monday morning, none remained.
Cheshire police spokeswoman Jacqui Hanson said: “One protest originated from Llandudno in North Wales, and involved around 60 vehicles. The other originated from the Birch Services on the M62 in Greater Manchester, and involved around 40-50 motorcyclists, and around 10 vehicles.
“The mobile protests were managed by the police forces in the areas in which they originated, with this role passing to Cheshire officers at the county borders. Police attendance at mobile protests is to maximise the safety of other road users.”
Police forced organisers of the go-slow to adhere to a minimum speed limit and keep a lane free for emergency vehicles.
Ms Hanson added: “Cheshire Police have not been informed of, or received any complaints of, disruption to the road networks as a result of the mobile protests.
“The role of the police in this situation is to uphold the law. The law allows for peaceful protest, but also requires that business can continue unhampered as usual.
“During the course of the evening, the number of foot protestors dwindled, leaving around 10-20 in number, until around 2.30am. on Monday, May 9, when these left. There are currently no protestors at the site, and there have not been any protestors at the site since 2.30am this morning.
“There has been no hampering of business activity at the site, and throughout yesterday's policing operation, tankers continued to arrive and leave the refinery as normal. No arrests were made.”