New price hike fuels go-slow city protest

The convoy crosses the Wearmouth Bridge.
The convoy crosses the Wearmouth Bridge.
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DRIVING instructors staged a go-slow protest through the city against ever-increasing petrol prices.

Around 60 driving instructors, taxis and self-employed business leaders snaked their way from Seaburn to Hendon’s fuel depot to take a stand against what they see as unfair prices at the pump.

The instructors say the hikes mean they lose between £20 and £30 a week - as they are unable to pass the cost on to customers because the economic climate means they need all the clients they can.

Paul Jasper, 51, from Castletown, who runs The Driving Company, organised the procession - also backed by Unite the union - which set out from Morrison’s at just after 11am on Saturday.

Mr Jasper said: “I’m really pleased with the way it went, the whole thing went to plan.

“The police said there were no problems and it was done in consultation with them and they were really happy and everyone who joined in played their part.

“There’s a lot of apathy out there and some people will say it won’t make much difference, but we can’t just sit back.

“The general public have played more of a part in this than previous ones, because before it was small businesses who were affected, now I think everybody is feeling it.

“There will be no blockades, this has been done in consultation with the police and the route was organised to have very little disruption.

“On April 1, we’ll see another 3p or 4p on the price of a litre, so it’ll be up to £1.40. Somewhere people are going to say enough is enough.

Peter Stainsby, who has run Drive Sunderland for six years, said: “Do we pressure our customers or the fuel commissioners? We could cut the price of a lesson, but he or she isn’t going to get long on the road if we’re spending most of the time talking to them about driving, and it just seems like it’s getting much harder.”

Where in the city are the cheapest petrol prices? Email echo.news@northeast-press.co.uk