Truckers' fuel tax protest hits London
Hundreds of truckers drove to Britain's Parliament on Wednesday to protest the rising cost of fuel.
Police closed a section of a highway into the capital to let the trucks gather, then escorted the 200 trucks in convoys of 20 into the center of town. Dozens of protesters on foot gathered outside the Houses of Parliament, waiting to go inside to lobby members of Parliament and holding placards that said "Fair Play on Fuel."
"Business life for us at the moment is hard — very hard," said Michael Edmunds, a trucker from Wiltshire in western England. "It's got to the stage where I'm wondering whether it's all worth carrying on. I'm only a small haulier. We are simply getting swallowed up."
Their protest coincided with a parliamentary debate on the Government's plans to impose higher rate of vehicle excise duty on "gas guzzlers".
According to Transport for London, this kept disruption to other motorists to a minimum although cars were kept off the elevated section of the A40 into the heart of London.
Some drivers parked up and went by foot to attend a rally outside Parliament.
There, Roger King, the chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, called for fuel duty to be the same throughout the European Union.
"If the UK Government does not address this (fuel duty) problem there is going to be precious little of the haulage industry left," he said.