UK Fuel Protests Bristol 2022: when are the M4 and M5 protests, what roads are affected near me?

Both the M4 and M5 - the main motorways serving the Bristol area - are blocked by protestors. Here is the situation as of Thursday, 7 July 2022.

Traffic officials have warned Bristolians of travel disruption that is predicted to continue throughout the week as a result of planned fuel protests in the UK.

Avon and Somerset Police have already issued a warning to motorists travelling along the main motorways that link Bristol.

Queues and queues of traffic are clogging up the city’s main access roads, as well as the alternative routes that drivers have had to take to get to their destinations.

Here is everything you need to know about the UK fuel protests, such as where it is taking place and what routes in and around Bristol are affected.

Why are the protests happening?

Protestors are targeting a number of England, Scotland and Wales’ biggest motorways and roads in a demonstration over the high price of petrol and diesel.

The aim is to coerce government officials in cutting fuel duty costs as most filling stations across the country are seeing petrol and diesel priced at near or above £2 per litre.

According to the RAC, the average price of petrol is 191.53p per litre, whilst diesel stands at a record-high of 199.03p per litre.

When are the protests?

The fuel protests are only scheduled to take place on one day so far this week at the time of publication.

All of Bristol’s main access roads and motorways will see disruption caused by the demonstrations that will take place throughout Monday, 4 July 2022.

Where are the protests taking place?

The main motorways and roads impacted with disruption caused by the protests are that of the M5, M4 and M32.

Videos of standstill traffic have been circulating social media channels.

Here is the full list of all the roads affected by the disruption of the UK fuel protests:

  • M4 and Prince of Wales Bridge
  • M5 (Devon)
  • M32
  • A38
  • M180 (Lincolnshire)
  • A12 (Essex)
  • A92 (Scotland)
  • A64 (near York)

What routes in and around Bristol have been affected?

The most significant disruption caused by the fuel duty protests seem to lie on both ends of the Prince of Wales Bridge at the time of publication.

Demonstrations have been taking place between junction 21 and 22 on the M4 from around 7 am on Monday morning.

This has caused traffic disruption for motorists using the M4 from both directions.

Due to the queues of cars, this has also caused quite the backlog of traffic on the M5, M48 and M32.

Reports also suggest that a protest could take place on the Severn Bridge at some point on Monday, too - to check if it is open, visit the BristolWorld Severn Bridge status tracker here.

A roadblock has hit the M5 and M4 roads with between 60-70 vehicles setting off northbound near junction 24 at Bridgewater Gateway.

All lanes have been blocked with some passengers posting pictures and videos on social channels of traffic being at a standstill.

The hard shoulder will be left vacant for emergency vehicles to use.

What have officials said?

Paul Wiggington, superintendent of Avon and Somerset Police, has issued the following statement in reaction to the ongoing disruption caused by the fuel protests taking place around the Bristol area: “Working alongside Gwent Police, we are engaging with the various organisers of these protests.”

“People have a right to peaceful protest and liaison teams from both Gwent and Avon and Somerset have been working to understand campaigners’ plans so public safety is maintained and to reduce disruption to others,” he said.

“Nevertheless, drivers can expect journey times will likely be longer than normal, especially on motorways and main roads during the busiest times of the day.

“We advise motorists to consider any alternative travel plans available and ensure they are suitably prepared in case they are delayed."