The protests began in England and Wales shortly after 7 a.m. BST (2 a.m. ET) and mainly targeted three-lane motorways, but vehicles are expected to drive slowly only in two lanes and leave the outside lane free. (Related: The great currency reset and why Europe is trapped.)
For a few minutes, both carriageways of the motorway approaching the Prince of Wales Bridge, which crosses River Severn between England and Wales, came to a standstill with go-slow protesters traveling east and west accompanied by police motorcyclists.
The convoy of about 20 vehicles, accompanied by police cars, left the M4 Magor services near Caldicot in South Wales before heading toward the crossing.
Meanwhile, Avon and Somerset Police also tweeted that there was a "slow-moving rolling roadblock" on the M4 heading toward the bridge from the other direction.
Devon and Cornwall Police also said that it was aware of a go-slow protest heading northbound from Exter services, while a column of about 20 vehicles with hazard lights on joined the London-bound A12.
However, some drivers were caught breaching the legal minimum speed limit and the police arrested at least 13 protesters for driving too slowly. Twelve were arrested in South Wales, while one was arrested in Devon after being given a previous warning.
The protests were said to have been organized via Facebook through a group called "Fuel Price Stand Against Tax," which gained the attention of more than 50,000.
The convoy in Shropshire was said to be organized by Andy Carloman, the head of property maintenance company Total Property Care. He told the local newspaper Shropshire Star that rising fuel prices were a "national problem, particularly for small businesses like myself and for self-employed drivers, the likes of which were on the protest this morning."
Truck driver Tariq Akram, who drove through Scunthorpe and Doncaster at 20mph told BBC that his company added £4,000 ($4,793.46) to its fuel bill in the last four months due to the rising prices.
Protesters have argued that pump prices have remained unjustly high despite wholesale costs of fuel and diesel beginning to fall following the surge sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine back in February.
Motorists' demands include an immediate cut in fuel taxes – a request that was backed by the former Conservative Party Deputy Chair Robert Halfon. The Conservative MP for Harlow also urged the government to go further than the 5p per liter reduction in fuel tax implemented by Rishi Sunak in the Spring.
Halfon said: "I don't want anything that disrupts people in their ordinary lives, but I’m worried that this is a precursor to even more protests that are going to spread around the United Kingdom. If we're not careful, we're going to have a Canadian-style situation, with truck drivers descending on Parliament."
He was referring to the "Freedom Convoy" that occurred in Ottawa earlier this year wherein the mayor was forced to declare a state of emergency following protests against Canada's vaccine requirements and rising gas prices.
Protesters in the U.K called to narrow the gap between wholesale and pump gas prices. This was backed by the FairFuelUK Campaign, which aims for "fairer fuel taxation." (Related: Record gas prices are pushing up everyday costs, could lead to recession.)
The group's founder, Howard Cox, said that the demonstrations are not just against the incredibly high petrol and diesel prices, but also about the "sickening chronic manipulation of pump prices and the complete lack of scrutiny by our out-of-touch government" that allows unchecked gas and diesel profiteering.
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