Government plan to use 1839 laws to foil fuel protests

We'll use 1839 laws to foil lorry strikers' road blocks, say Ministers

The Government is planning to use obscure laws to stop roadblocks during a threatened fuel tanker drivers’ strike led by militant union boss ‘Red Len’ McCluskey.

The legislation is a major part of contingency plans if the 3,000 drivers belonging to the Unite union walk out next month over record fuel prices of 128.7p a litre for unleaded and 133.01p for diesel.

It includes Section 54 of the Metropolitan Act 1839 and Section 28 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, which make wilful obstruction of a thoroughfare an offence.

More on the The Metropolitan Police Act 1839

Powers to restrict trucks to certain lanes on motorways or to direct them off the road if they deliberately obstruct traffic have also been reviewed.

Ministers say such laws will allow the Government to avoid a repeat of the week-long tanker drivers’ protests of 2000, which brought parts of the country to a standstill.

Former Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw admitted at the time that Tony Blair’s Government had not been prepared.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: ‘Ed Miliband’s union backers want to drag Britain back to the Seventies.

‘I’ve asked my civil servants to keep Britain moving if the unions try to shut the country down.’

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  1. […] a go-slow. Police have been quick to respond to the recent protests, even threatening use of traffic laws dating back to 1839 that can be used against protesters if they cause blockages to […]

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