Farmer protesting soaring fuel costs leads 5mph convoy bringing A1 to a crawl

Andrew Spence, a veteran campaigner from Leadgate, County Durham, is carrying out the disruption in Newcastle in a bid to get the Government to cap fuel costs

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Newcastle: Farmer leads fuel protest slow drive on A1

An angry farmer is leading a 5mph convoy down the A1 today in a protest against rising fuel prices.

Andrew Spence, a veteran campaigner from Leadgate, County Durham, is staging the disruption in Newcastle city centre in a bid to get the Government to cap fuel costs.

He is currently leading a convoy of drivers along the A1 from Gateshead into Newcastle and hopes hundreds of vehicles will join his go-slow drive.

Pictures from the scene appear to show scores of cars and lorry cabs bumper to bump on the outer most lane of the busy main road.

Are you being affected by the protest? Email [email protected]

Police at the scene of the protest in the Newcastle area this afternoon


North News & Pictures

The convoy is heading towards the Redheugh Bridge, through the city centre and back over the Tyne Bridge towards the Angel of the North.

When it arrives the protest could potentially cause issues for people getting in and out of Newcastle on a traditionally busy day for shoppers and those planning to attend various sports events today including Newcastle vs Brentford, ChronicleLive reports.

Before the protest began he said: “I’ve had a guy on the phone from America today, from CNN, saying ‘you know the eyes of the world are on you?’, I’ve had a guy on the phone from France, people from Spain, Holland, Germany.

The protest could potentially cause issues for people getting in and out of Newcastle


North News & Pictures

“We’re not asking for a 50% reduction in the price of fuel, we’re just asking for it to be more economically available for members of the public and businesses in their daily lives.

“We want a cap that’s set for six months and for the Government to say ‘if the price of oil goes up, we cut tax, if costs go down, the tax stays up.’

“We all need to budget, but at the moment, say I send a wagon away tomorrow morning and I’m putting diesel in at £1.42, by Wednesday it will be £1.48 and by next Friday it’s £1.52.

Andrew Spence is leading the convoy down the A1


“It’s heartbreaking, some of the stories I’m hearing. A young lad phoned me who is living in Kielder, he’s a single parent and he’s having to choose whether to pay for oil to heat the house, fuel to take the kids to school, or food.”

But Mr Spence has pledged that emergency services vehicles will be allowed to pass.

He posted on Facebook: “We will be doing this under the auspices of Northumbria Police, the convoy will be escorted by Northumbria Police, the route has been agreed with Northumbria Police.”

The convoy is heading towards the Angel of the North


A Government spokesperson said fuel prices are increasing in countries across the world and not just in the UK

They added: “We’ve provided £4.2 billion of support to help people with the cost of living, including effectively cutting taxes for workers on Universal Credit, providing £500m of targeted support for the most vulnerable families and freezing fuel duty for the twelfth year in a row.”

The protest attracted a mixed response from people on social media.

Farmer Andrew Spence


North News & Pictures

One person posted: “Good on him, least someone is taking a stand. Prices are ridiculously high again, everyone likes to complain but this guy is doing the next level.”

Another supporter of the campaign commented: About time someone made a stand against this government. The working man is being ripped off by this government. All power to this person. Well done.”

But others disagreed with Mr Spence’s stance.

Andrew and fellow fuel campaigners previously blocked roads into Newcastle with their ‘go slow’ protest back in 2000


Andrew Spence)

One man wrote: “This will not achieve anything. Maybe if they brought London to a standstill for a couple of days but stopping normal people getting on with their lives is a bad idea.”

“No different to the clowns from insulate Britain,” another person commented.

The veteran campaigner became a key figure in fuel protests in September 2000, becoming part of a blockade at a Jarrow oil terminal and encircling Newcastle with vehicles.

The protests escalated over one week with demands that the Government reduce fuel taxes.

Within 24 hours of the protests spreading many garage forecourts across the UK ran out petrol.

The garages that still had petrol began to ration it to drivers who were queuing for hours to fill their tanks.

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