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The question: Fighting rising fuel prices

In France rising fuel prices have prompted fishermen and lorry drivers to organise blockades in protest. What should their British counterparts do to make their point?

Seeing the French government has caved in and agreed to the protesters' demands, then their campaign seems to have been effective. British lorry drivers have staged a number of protests and seemed to get support for their cause from the public, certain national newspapers and political parties but failed to lower fuel prices. Perhaps they should try it again but for longer and not stop until they are satisfied with the government's actions.

Protests will inevitably cause disruption to the general public but if fuel prices are lowered then surely we will all benefit?

Andy Thompson, student, Bradford

I do not believe in any industrial action which affects the general public or any other innocent party. Any protest should be focused on the key decision makers for the issue at their place of work and should be publicised in a manner that enhances public support.

Robert Kremis, regional construction manager, Bucks

While there is no doubt that the actions by the French made a point very quickly and created a reaction by the French government, this should not lead to a reciprocal action by their British counterparts.

Representatives from industry should continue to talk to the government, rather than seek solutions outside the law.

Furthermore, our Government should be working with the French to ensure that this country remains outside their politics, although I cannot see this happening as the French seem to have found an effective political tool.

Gary Mills, area manager, Bracknell

Diesel fuel prices are not too high in the UK, rather they are too low in mainland Europe.

This results in increased costs for UK industry generally, but has little impact on individual lorry drivers. The best course of action for British lorry drivers would be to try to improve fuel efficiency. This would result in a genuine competitive advantage for successful drivers. To level the playing field, UK industry in general should use the CBI to press for greater tax integration throughout Europe. The French lorry drivers are likely to be successful with their campaign in the short term. However, in the long term this type of action will result in French industry becoming uncompetitive.

Dave Brown, transportation engineer, Melton Mowbray

I recall from many years ago how Portuguese public transport employees pressurised a change in their industry - supply the transport but at no charge to those who used it. Very popular and no user inconvenienced. How about a similar initiative in fuel retailing? No duty collected one week, no VAT the next, and only the fuel cost another. . . I expect it is all against the law but would be very popular!

Richard Boyce, quality manager, Devon

They should go in to partnership with the refineries or move abroad for better pay and conditions.

Nick Elsworth, geotechnical researcher, Berks

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