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Chronicle Live
Chronicle Live
Sophie Finnegan

More than a thousand protesters drive 30mph down the A1 in North East over soaring fuel costs

More than a thousand protesters caused traffic chaos by driving 30mph down the A1 as drivers took a stand against soaring fuel costs.

The 'go slow' protest saw a steady convoy of cars crawl at around 30mph on the A1 during Friday rush hour. Setting off from Stannington Services at 3.30pm, the convoy headed towards Wetherby Services where they met another convoy heading in the opposite direction before turning back.

Durham Constabulary warned drivers not to drive on the hard shoulder to get past the stream of vehicles reminding drivers that unless they’re in an emergency situation, or directed by police it's an offence. Photos from the protest showed a steady stream of vehicles some with signs saying 'Fuel protest'.

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Jay Garside, 45, from Newcastle, is the founder of the car enthusiast group, Summer Madness, which organised the demonstration. He said he's been blown away by the response from people who have all come together for a united cause.

Over 40 Fuel protesters heading South from Stannington services (Newcastle Chronicle)

He said: "We have had more than 1,000 cars take part, everyone has come together to stand up and do something about fuel prices. I have spoken to a lot of people who all feel the same and want to do something about it. There was even a wagon that had a sign that said: 'Honk for lower fuel prices'.

"The support from people has been brilliant. I would say about 75 percent of people are supportive and 25 percent can't see the point in it. The car enthusiast side of this, that was just us, but when it's a subject like rising fuel prices it affects so many people and people are standing together.

"I have spoken to a lot of people who have told me they can't afford to fill up their car to get into work so people are working from home or calling in sick because they can't afford to get to work during that last week. The Government is going to have to sit up and take notice.

Fuel protester Jay Garside at Stannington services, Morpeth (Newcastle Chronicle)

"I can't thank everyone enough for the support, we've had a great turnout and it's been great to see everyone come together."

It comes as the RAC reports that the average cost of filling a 55-litre family car has now passed the £100 mark as a result of rising prices. Fuel costs hit new record highs every day over the last month, with the average petrol price now 186.59p per litre, with diesel at 192.48p.

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