Taken from FT.com Fuel protesters threaten to mount refinery blockade By Thomas Catan Published: September 7 2005 17:54 | Last updated: September 7 2005 17:54 The organisers of a protest against the cost of fuel that caused chaos across Britain five years ago threatened to act again as petrol prices broke the Â£1 a litre barrier in some parts of the country. Andrew Spence of the Fuel Lobby said the group would call for blockades of oil refineries next Wednesday if the government did not cut tax on fuel. âWe want to see an immediate reduction in taxation to bring fuel prices down or as of 6am next Wednesday there wonât be a refinery in the country left open,â Mr Spence said. He claimed that 26 transport companies had already promised to help. The week-long blockade of refineries in 2000 caught the oil industry off guard and closed petrol stations throughout the country. It sparked panic buying of fuel and even food, and was estimated to have cost business Â£1bn. If successful, such action could further compound the shortage of petrol and diesel, which were in short supply even before Hurricane Katrina closed nine refineries in the US. However, the organisers have previously failed at efforts to mount a repeat of the 2000 protests and the government has since put in place contingency plans to prevent protesters from disrupting petrol distribution. It is also unclear if the public would again tolerate an action that could cause widespread disruption and result in even higher prices. On Wednesday, the Treasury said it would not reduce the tax on fuel, claiming that the main rates of road fuel duty had already fallen nearly 14 per cent in real terms since 2000. The government said the biggest priority was working with the US to restore output levels and maintaining pressure on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the oil cartel, to boost its oil production. âRoad fuel duty rates on the main types of petrol and diesel are lower now than they were six years ago,â the Treasury said. âIn light of the continuing volatility in the oil market, we also took the decision last year not to go ahead with the annual inflation increase in fuel duties, and this year we have again delayed the annual increase until we can review the position in the pre-Budget report.â According to the AA Motoring Trust, the average price of unleaded petrol on Wednesday was 95.18p, up 6.2 per cent since August 1. Diesel rose to an average price of 97.66p on Wednesday, up 4.6 per cent over the past five weeks. However, the trust said many service stations were charging more than Â£1 a litre for diesel, while petrol had also broken the Â£1 barrier in some places. About 65 per cent of the price of a litre of petrol goes to the government in duty or value added tax. However, the increase in the price of fuel is the result of the rising cost of crude oil and shortages in refining capacity, not tax increases. Other motoring organisations said the threatened protests would do nothing to bring down prices. Ruth Bridger of the AA Motoring Trust said: âWe donât see thereâs much point [in the protests]. Everybody knows fuel is going up and everyone knows why. We just have to ride this one out.â Great is'nt it just as me & mrs mattmo are of to sunny dorset for the week, on Sunday. Anyone know where the unleaded dump is at Lulworth camp? if not Bovington will do!