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Lorry drivers protest: New oil price record fuels hauliers’ anger logo

Lorry drivers protest: New oil price record fuels hauliers’ anger

The price of oil hit a record of nearly $144 a barrel yesterday, threatening further pressure on pump prices ahead of the first fuel price protest to be officially backed by the Road Haulage Association.

Sweet US crude for August delivery rose by more than $3 in New York to $142.99 while North Sea Brent crude futures reached $143.99.

The latest increase in oil prices was blamed on rising tension between Iran and Israel and expectations of further falls in the value of the dollar – oil is often bought to hedge against a falling greenback.

Traders have been unnerved that Middle Eastern oil supplies could be disrupted after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards threatened to impose shipping restrictions in the Gulf, through which 40% of the world’s oil is exported, if Israel launches an attack.

“The main factors behind the rise today are the US dollar remains fragile and geopolitical tensions, particularly surrounding Iran,” said David Moore, a commodity strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “That’s unsettling for the oil market.”

He added that if the European Central Bank raised interest rates at its next meeting on Thursday, that would further strengthen the euro against the dollar.

BP said the average price of its UK forecourt diesel was 133.5p a litre, compared with 98.2p a year ago; unleaded petrol now cost 120.3p, compared with 97.2p a year earlier.

The Road Haulage Association, the official truckers’ lobby group, said it was supporting a protest in the centre of London tomorrow. Kate Gibbs, spokeswoman for the RHA, said it could no longer stand by because the situation for its members had become an “absolute nightmare”.

Lorries from all parts of the country are to meet on the M40 and drive under police escort to Westminster where there will also be a foot lobby of parliament.

Andy Boyle, a road haulier and the RHA’s national chairman, said: “Our industry is being driven out of business. It is madness to insist on charging the highest level of fuel duty in the European Union on top of a world [oil] price that has rocketed.”

The heads of some of the world’s biggest oil companies yesterday contested Opec claims that oil prices were being pushed up by speculators, instead blaming a lack of new supplies.

The chief executives of BP, Shell and Spain’s Repsol YPF told the oil industry’s biggest gathering in three years that restrictions on where they can invest and high taxes meant they could not help boost supplies as much as they might. The BP chief, Tony Hayward, said it was a “myth” that financial investors buying oil futures were behind the four-year rally. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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