Road transport workers and lorry drivers are planning 15 blockades across France this weekend in protest at the government’s plans to change fuel taxation laws in 2020.
There are set to be 15 blockades across 11 regions in the country, on Saturday December 7.
The movement will take the form of blockades into refuelling depots, or “snail operations”, in which vehicles will drive extremely slowly to deliberately cause traffic jams and delays on the roads.
The action is being led by the third-largest sector association OTRE (L’Organisation des Transporteurs Routiers Européens), but has not been supported by the two largest sector groups, FNTR and TLF.
The main blockade locations can be seen in a map distributed by OTRE. Major affected areas will include the outskirts of Toulouse, and the A8 motorway from Italy into France, near Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône).
delays and traffic jams are expected
Normal cars will be let through by the lorry drivers and blockaders, but delays and traffic jams are still expected.
Jean-Marc Rivéra, general delegate for OTRE, said: “We have gathered around 1,000 [lorry] vehicles in total. We will be far enough away from urban centres, to spare normal citizens who work during the week. The places chosen are near border areas, or on roads that are often used by foreign lorries.”
The protests come as the government plans to drop by two cents per litre the amount companies will be able to claim back in taxes on fuel in 2020. This money will raise €140 million per year, the government says, which will go towards improving transport infrastructure.
Yet, while the proposals were approved by the Assemblée Nationale on October 17, the bill was effectively thrown out by the Senate. A cross-party commission is expected to meet on December 12 to come to an agreement on the bill.