FOUR Brexiteer lorry drivers will be prosecuted for inconsiderate driving after bringing roads to a standstill in protest at the UK’s leave date being pushed back.
Road police bosses have warned those planning more so-called “go slow” demonstrations that careless driving will not be tolerated.
Lorry drivers brought roads across the UK to a standstill in protest at the Brexit date being pushed back[/caption]
There was traffic gridlock in Lancashire during the demonstrations[/caption]
Lorry drivers bring mass disruption to the M6 with ‘go slow’ protests over Brexit being pushed back[/caption]
There was traffic mayhem in Devon, Cornwall, Lancashire, Stoke-on-Trent, Hull and north Wales yesterday evening following a series of planned protests.
Inspector Simon Jenkinson, from the Alliance Roads Policing Team, said: “A30 go slow – My officers have stopped the front vehicles and will be prosecuting them for inconsiderate driving.
“We will be adopting the same approach on the M5 should drivers deliberately slow or stop traffic.”
Campaigners from Brexit Direct Action are understood to be aiming to target between 30 and 40 locations over the weekend, including the M25, M6 and M1.
The protest comes after the Brexit date was postponed until at least April 12.
My officers have stopped the front vehicles and will be prosecuting them for inconsiderate driving.
Inspector Simon Jenkins, Alliance Roads Policing Team
The inspector added: “We recognise the right to protest and make views clear but we will not tolerate careless and inconsiderate driving on our roads.
“We engaged with organisers before the go slow began, they ignored our advice to stay in lane 1 and limit speed to no less than 45mph.”
He later tweeted warning drivers that they could face prosecution, writing: “We stopped 9 vehicles, the front two have been reported for inconsiderate driving the remainder given words of advice and allowed to continue their way at an appropriate speed.
“If they repeat their actions they are aware we have their details and prosecutions will follow.”
According to organisers, the demonstrations aimed to ensure the UK leaves the EU on March 29 by causing gridlock on motorways and A roads using a convoy of slow-moving vehicles.
Devon and Cornwall Police said it had stopped the convoys on the A30 and M5 and prosecuted the two lead drivers of both convoys for careless and inconsiderate driving.
The force said it had spoken to organisers of both protests beforehand and told them they were to ensure other motorists could pass them and not drop down to unsafe speeds.
Inspector Jenkinson told the Press Association that the force was “happy to facilitate” the protests as long as they did not bring the roads to a standstill.
But he said that the campaigners had blocked both lanes of the A30 towards Cornwall and at least two lanes of the M5 northbound while travelling at speeds as low as 20mph on the motorway.
Mr Jenkinson added: “We took the decision for the front two vehicles to be pulled over and reported for the driving offence of careless and inconsiderate driving.
“They presented a risk to the road-using community.
“The information I have had was there were speeds as low as 20mph (on the M5).
“That presents a significant risk on a very busy arterial road.”
The RAC advises that, while most motorways in the UK do not have an official minimum speed limit, “travelling too slowly can be considered dangerous” and might attract attention from police.
Highways England tweeted: “There have been a few issues but nothing of any major impact and at present everything is running as usual.”
‘GO SLOW’ PROTEST
Organiser Ian Charlesworth had said the protests could cause “serious gridlock” and believes MPs and the Home Office “will be looking at it”, but added he does not know how effective the protests will be.
“The ultimate aim is to make sure come hell or high water that Britain leaves on March 29,” the 55-year-old told the Press Association.
The protests have been organised through social media, with Mr Charlesworth’s Facebook group containing more than 21,000 members.
After this weekend’s protests he said a larger “national event” is planned in London on March 29, should their demands not be met.
This will coincide with the pro-Brexit March To Leave demonstration in Parliament Square.
EU leaders have said Britain could postpone Brexit until May 22 if the Commons backs Theresa May’s EU plan.
But the UK would have to leave the bloc by April 12 if the PM fails to win a majority.
Mrs May has urged MPs to act in the national interest – saying: “We are now at the moment of decision.”
“I think the time is now to deliver for the British people, the time is now to make the decision.”
And she signalled her regret for her blistering attack on Parliament on Wednesday night.
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She said while she was frustrated she understood MPs were frustrated too.
It came as she risked yet more anger over her own strategy, by reopening the door to a longer, softer Brexit if her deal fails.
Challenged by The Sun she admitted she the Government “would need to work with the House to decide how to proceed” if her deal falls.
Campaigners from Brexit Direct Action are understood to be aiming to target between 30 and 40 locations over the weekend, including the M25, M6 and M1[/caption]
In a humiliating summit for the PM, EU leaders said Britain could postpone Brexit until May 22 if the Commons backs her EU plan[/caption]
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