FED-up motorists took to Stanlow Oil Refinery in Ellesmere Port on Friday night to stage a mass protest over rising fuel costs.

More than 150 cars, vans and trucks joined a slow-moving convoy along the A5117.
Protesters, who met at Chester Services, Junction 14 of the M56 shortly before 8pm, arrived at the fuel plant at 9pm where they staged a drive-past and waved banners bearing slogans such as ‘RIP the driver’ and ‘Fuel duty is highway robbery’.

Organiser Kevin Bowker, 40, from Saltney, said the government needed to act on fuel prices.

Speaking to the Leader after the demonstration, he said: “Everybody has complained about fuel prices but nothing has been done so I thought I would take it upon myself.

“It costs me £85 to fill up my Vauxhall Vectra now which is just outrageous. It used to be £60. Our aim is to get the price of each litre below £1.

“There was a massive police presence but they were very helpful and made sure we had a clear route. They gave us the chance to do our thing in a peaceful way.

“There was a real spirit of camaraderie and everyone enjoyed it. This is just the start of things for us.”

Father-of-four Kevin has gained the support of more than 350 people on a group on the social networking website Facebook, set up with friend Stephen Johnstone.

One member wrote: “We will get the result eventually. We just have to stay the course and keep going.”

Another wrote: “I couldn’t attend because I couldn’t afford the petrol to get there.”
The pair are already planning their next protest.

Kevin added: “There will be another demonstration very soon, possibly at the end of February. It will be at the same place but on a much bigger scale with the support of a lot more people.

“Watch this space.”

The price of petrol has rocketed to record figures with some stations across Chester and Ellesmere Port charging as much as 130.90p and 135.90p for diesel.

This protest follows a number of blockades and go-slows at the Ellesmere Port-based site over the years.

In 2000 about 100 farmers and truckers blocked access to the refinery, followed by two protests in 2005.

The most recent blockade came in 2008, after more than 130 protesters blockaded the oil refinery for about four hours following a hike in fuel duty.