Security has been stepped up at a Midland oil refinery as protesters plan to stage demonstrations against fuel price rises today.

Warwickshire Police said it was ready to deal with any demonstrations at Kingsbury terminal near Tamworth, which was the scene of blockades during the fuel protests in 2000.

The latest demonstrations are being led by a Durham farmer and haulier Andrew Spence, who has called on people to protest outside oil refineries in a bid to persuade the Government to cut tax on fuel.

It was unclear last night whether the Kingsbury refinery, which was blockaded in September 2000, would be affected by the protests.

Mike Farmer, from the Road Hauliers Association, said the organisation was not involved in the direct action.

Monmouthshire farmer David Handley, founder of Farmers For Action who organised the 2000 protests, also said he would not be taking part. He said he did not believe demonstrations would make any difference in changing Government policy.

Drivers across the Midlands were urged not to panic-buy fuel ahead of the protests but petrol stations across Birmingham were increasingly putting up "closed" signs.

A spokeswoman for Tesco said: "Speculation about the petrol situation is putting a number of our forecourts under pressure, but there is no need for our customers to queue. We have no supply problems."

One petrol station in Warwick Road, Tyseley, was reported to be selling fuel at #1.10 a litre.

Luke Bosdet, from the AA, told drivers to re-fuel as normal.